Apparent Digestibility, Nitrogen Balance, Ruminal Microbial Nitrogen Production and Blood Metabolites in Thai Brahman Cattle Fed a Basal Diet of Rice Straw and Supplemented with Some Tropical Protein-rich Trees

  • Jetana, Thongsuk (Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University) ;
  • Vongpipatana, Cheerapath (Feed and Forage Analysis Section, Animal Nutrition Division) ;
  • Thongruay, Sirima (Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University) ;
  • Usawang, Sungworn (Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University) ;
  • Sophon, Sunpeth (Department of Animal Husbandry, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Mahanarkorn University)
  • Received : 2009.06.03
  • Accepted : 2009.10.05
  • Published : 2010.04.01


The effects of four types of tropical protein-rich trees on nutrient digestibility, nitrogen (N) balance, urinary purine derivative (PD) excretion and blood metabolites in four Thai Brahman cattle (290${\pm}$2.5 kg) were studied. The animals were fed twice daily, with each feeding consisting of 1 kg (fresh weight) rice straw and one of the four dietary supplements: i) 1.98 kg oven-dried rain tree pods (RTP) and 20 g premix (RTPP), ii) 980 g RTP and 1 kg sun-dried leucaena leaves and 20 g premix (LLRT), iii) 980 g RTP and 1 kg sun-dried cassia leaves and 20 g premix (CLRT) and iv) 980 g RTP and 1 kg sun-dried mulberry leaves and 20 g premix (MLRT). The apparent dry matter (DM) and organic matter (OM) digestibilities were higher (p<0.05) in cattle fed the CLRT supplement than in those fed the other supplements, whilst the apparent digestibility of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) was higher (p<0.05) in cattle fed the CLRT and MLRT supplements than in those fed the other supplements. The N-balance of cattle fed LLRT and CLRT supplements was higher (p<0.05) than in cattle fed RTPP and MLRT supplements, whilst the apparent digestibility of N was highest (p<0.05) in cattle fed RTPP supplement, compared to the other supplements. Allantoin and PD excretion in the urine, and the ratios of allantoin/DOMI and PD/DOMI were higher (p<0.05) in cattle fed RTPP and MLRT than for those fed LLRT and CLRT supplements. Plasma ${\beta}$-hydroxy butyrate (${\beta}$-HBA) and insulin concentrations were higher (p<0.05) in cattle fed RTPP supplement than in those fed the other supplements. The study demonstrated the value of using local multipurpose trees (MPTs) to improve Brahman cattle feeding systems in the tropics.


Brahman Cattle;Cassia;Leucaena;Mulberry;Rain Tree Pod;Rice Straw


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