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Nutrient Intake, Its Utilization, Rumen Fermentation Pattern and Blood Bio-Chemical Constituents of Sheep Fed Urea Treated Mustard (Brassica campestris) Straw

  • Misra, A.K. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute) ;
  • Karim, S.A. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute) ;
  • Verma, D.L. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute) ;
  • Mishra, A.S. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute) ;
  • Tripathi, M.K. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute)
  • Received : 2000.03.20
  • Accepted : 2000.06.30
  • Published : 2000.12.01

Abstract

A study was conducted to compare the feeding value of urea treated and untreated mustard straw (MS) for sheep. Treated MS was prepared by adding urea-N at 1.84% and followed by packing in a pit silo for 21 days. Two groups of six empty Avikaline ewes were fed untreated (UTMS) and treated (TMS) mustard straw along with 200 g concentrate per head daily for 90 days. Untreated MS had 0.41% N and the urea treatment increased its N value to 1.58 %. The cell wall constituents were decreased in the TMS except for cellulose which remained unaffected. Dry matter intake of TMS was consistently higher than that of UTMS. Digestibility of DM, OM and fibre fractions of MS improved by the urea treatment. Ewes in both groups were in positive N balance while % N retention was lower in UTMS (26.30%) than in TMS (52.14%). The TMS fed group on average consumed 30.2 g DM, 2.9 g digestible crude protein and $0.2MJ\;DE\;per\;kg\;BW\;day^{-1}$ and maintained their weight whereas, the UTMS fed ewes lost weight. The VFA concentration in rumen liquor was higher in TMS than in UTMS. Total-N, ammonia-N and TCA-precipitable-N were also higher in TMS fed ewes. Blood glucose concentrations in the two groups were similar at initiation of the study. However the glucose concentration of UTMS fed group was significantly (p<0.01) lower than those fed UTMS at the termination of the study. Urea-N concentration was also higher in TMS fed group after 90 days of feeding period. It is concluded that urea treatment of MS improved N value of MS from 0.41% to 1.58% along with sizable improvement in nutritive value and in conjunction with 200 g concentrate, TMS can serve as maintenance ration for sheep. ($ME_{lakt}/ME_{m}=1.46$).

Keywords

Mustard Straw;Crop Residue;Urea Treatment;Sheep