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Effects of Type and Level of Forage Supplementation on Voluntary Intake, Digestion, Rumen Microbial Protein Synthesis and Growth in Sheep Fed a Basal Diet of Rice Straw and Cassava

  • Premaratne, Sujatha (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya) ;
  • van Bruchem, J. (Animal Production Systems, Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences (WIAS), Agricultural University) ;
  • Chen, X.B. (Rowett Research Institute) ;
  • Perera, H.G.D. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya) ;
  • Oosting, S.J. (Animal Production Systems, Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences (WIAS), Agricultural University)
  • Received : 1997.09.09
  • Accepted : 1998.05.19
  • Published : 1998.12.01

Abstract

An experiment was conducted with eight growing sheep (average initial weight 20.6 kg and average final weight 23.7 kg) in a $4{\times}4$ Latin square design to study the effect of type of forage supplementation to a basal diet of rice straw (ad libitum) and cassava (Manihot esculanta, approximately 9 g of dry matter $(DM).kg^{-0.75}{\cdot}day^{-1}$) on voluntary intake, digestion, rumen microbial protein synthesis and daily weight gain. Forages used were Leucaena (L, Leucaena leucocephala), Gliricidia (G, Gliricidia maculata) and Tithonia (T, Tithonia diversifolia, wild sunflower) at a DM supplementation level of approximately $13g.kg^{-0.75}.day^{-1}$. Organic matter intake was 40.4, 55.5, 55.0 and $54.9g{\cdot}kg.^{-0.75}{\cdot}day^{-1}$ for control (C, ad libitum straw and cassava), L, G and T. respectively, significantly lower for C than for the supplemented diets. Intake of supplementary forage had also a significantly positive effect on voluntary rice straw intake. All forage supplemented diets showed a significantly higher whole diet organic matter digestion than C ($488g{\cdot}kg^{-1}$), while T ($557g{\cdot}kg^{-1}$) differed significantly from L ($516g{\cdot}kg^{-1}$) but not from G ($526g{\cdot}kg^{-1}$). Daily weight gain was -1.7, 5.2, 5.4 and $4.7g{\cdot}kg^{-0.75}$, for C, L, G and T. respectively, significantly lower for C than for the forage-supplemented diets. Efficiency of microbial protein synthesis estimated from urinary excretion of purine derivatives was lower for C (3.8 g microbial N. (kg digestible organic matter intake $(DOMI))^{-1}$ than for the forage supplemented diets (11.3, 9.0 and 9.4 g microbial $N.(kg\;DOMI)^{-1}$ for L, G and T. respectively).

Keywords

Forage Supplementation;Intake;Digestibility;Rice Straw;Livestock Performance;Purine Derivatives

Acknowledgement

Grant : TS2-0091-NL

Supported by : Commission of the European Communities