Effects of Ensiled Cassava Tops on Rumen Environment Parameters, Thyroid Gland Hormones and Liver Enzymes of Cows Fed Urea-treated Fresh Rice Straw

  • Khang, Duong Nguyen (Department of Animal Physiology and Chemistry, Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine Nong Lam University) ;
  • Wiktorsson, Hans (Department of Animal Physiology and Chemistry, Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine Nong Lam University)
  • Received : 2003.07.15
  • Accepted : 2004.04.01
  • Published : 2004.07.01


Four rumen-cannulated cows (330 kg average weight at 4 years) were used to evaluate the supplement of ensiled cassava tops (ECT) (variety KM 94, 39% DM) on rumen functions, thyroid hormones and liver enzymes. The treatments, arranged in a 4 $\times$4 Latin square design, were ECT at 0, 50, 100 and 150 g CP 100 kg$^{-1}$ body weight (BW), and a basal diet of urea-treated fresh rice straw (UFRS) ad libitum and 1.1 kg dry matter (DM) cassava root meal (CRM) in each 30 day study period. The results showed a continuous decrease in dry matter intake (DMI) of UFRS with increasing level of ECT supplement (p<0.001). The highest total DMI was observed for treatment ECT$_{150}$ (2.68 kg DM 100 kg$^{-1}$ BW day$^{-1}$) followed by treatments ECT$_{100}$, ECT$_{50}$ and ECT$_{0}$, with 2.47, 2.24 and 2.06 kg DM 100 kg$^{-1}$ BW⋅day$^{-1}$, respectively. Increasing levels of ECT supplement increased the concentration of total volatile fatty acids (p<0.05) and ammonia nitrogen (p<0.05) and resulted in a decrease in pH (p<0.05). Overall average plasma triiodothyronine and thyroxine concentrations were 0.80, 0.82, 0.85 and 0.69 ng ml$^{-1}$ (p>0.05), and 50.9, 49.5, 50.7 and 42.4 ng ml-1 (p>0.05) for treatments ECT$_{0}$, ECT$_{50}$, ECT$_{100}$ and ECT$_{150}$, respectively. There were non-significant differences in alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase among treatments. It is concluded that ECT is a valuable protein-rich feed supplement to cattle, and the highest level of on average 2.48 kg DM ECT per cow and day (28% of total DMI) did not significantly affect thyroid gland hormones and liver enzymes in cows.


Supported by : Swedish International Development Authority


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