Changes in maize silage fermentation products during aerobic deterioration and effects on dry matter intake by goats
Chemical and microbiological changes occurring during aerobic exposure of maize silages and their influence on dry matter (DM) intake and preference by goats were evaluated. Eight maize silages differing in DM content, chopping length and compaction pressure were used for the study. After opening, silages were exposed to air for 8 days (d). In 2-d intervals, silage was stored anaerobically for use in preference trials. During the experimental phase, each possible two-way combination of the five silages (d0, d2, d4, d6 and d8) and one standard lucerne hay, was offered as free choice to six goats. Generally, a significant decline occurred in DM intake after 4 d of aerobic exposure. After 8 d, mean decrease in intake was 53% in comparison to the fresh silages. Preference when expressed as DM intake was negatively correlated to silage temperature (as difference to ambient), ethanol and ethyl lactate.