Effect of Cotton Stems Addition on the Chemical Composition and In Sacco Dry Matter Digestibility of Pearl Millet Silage

  • Grewal, R.S. (Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics Punjab Agricultural University) ;
  • Saijpaul, S. (Department of Animal Nutrition Punjab Agricultural University) ;
  • Kaushal, S. (Department of Animal Nutrition Punjab Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2003.02.03
  • Accepted : 2003.05.28
  • Published : 2003.12.01


The possibility of using cotton stems as a roughage source in animal feeding was explored. Ground cotton stems (T2 and T3) or stems treated with 0.5% urea (T4 and T5) were ensiled with pearl millet green fodder in double lined plastic bags of 3 kg capacity for 50 days. Formic acid (0.4% v/v) was sprayed on T3 and T5 silages. The treatments were compared with pearl millet silage alone (T1) which constituted the control. All the bags were placed in the silo pit of pearl millet silage. Results indicated that urea treatment of cotton stems increased and formic acid application reduced dry matter loss of the silages. Inclusion of cotton stems in the silage significantly (p<0.05) increased CF, ADF, cellulose and ADL due to its higher cell wall content. The hemicellulose was significantly lower in T3 (16.7%) and T5 (22.52%) as compared to T2 (23.45%) and T4 (24.6%) due to formic acid application. Ammoniation significantly increased NH3-N content in T4 (0.202%) and formic acid controlled NH3-N level in T5 (0.107%).The in sacco dry matter digestibility was significantly higher (p<0.05) in formic acid preserved silages T3 and T5 (47.73 and 47.93%) as compared to silages without formic acid (44.94 and 41.22 %) in T2 and T4 respectively, but lower than T1 (54.39%). It is concluded that cotton stems can be ensiled with pearl millet fodder in 1:4 ratio with or without urea treatment. Formic acid application further increases the silage quality.


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