A study was conducted to investigate changes in chemical composition and digestibility of urea-treated triticale straw. Triticale straw (TS) was chopped into pieces, approximately 2 cm in length. In Experiment 1, Solution of urea was applied to 1000 g dry matter (DM) of chopped TS at rate of 4.0% (w/w). The urea was applied as aqueous solution which added 1500 g of water/1000 g of TS DM. Urea-treated TS in laboratorial scale (TSL) was thoroughly mixed, stored in plastic containers and kept for 45 days at ambient temperature (20-25°C). Chemical composition and in vitro digestibility of TSL was determined and compared with TS and alfalfa hay (AH). The amount of total nitrogen (TN) and crude protein (CP) increased (P<0.05), but neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) decreased (P<0.05) when TS was treated with urea. AH had the highest (P<0.05) in vitro digestibility, but this value was lowest for TS. The TN, CP, NDF, ADF and in vitro digestibility of TSL were intermediate (P<0.05) to AH and TS. In Experiment 2, solution of urea was applied to 200 kg DM of chopped TS at a rate of 4.0% (w/w). The urea was applied as aqueous solution which added 300 kg of water/200 kg of TS DM. Urea-treated TS in farm scale (TSF) was thoroughly mixed, stored in plastic drums and kept for 45 days at ambient temperature (10-25°C). An in vivo digestibility experiment was done using four mature Moghani wether sheep. TSF had a higher (P<0.05) DM digestibility (DMD) and organic matter (OM) digestibility (OMD) values, compared with TS. However, TSF had greater digestible OM in the DM (DOMD), and metabolizable energy values, compared with TS, but these differences were not significant. Results showed that urea can improve chemical composition and digestibility values of TS.
Journal: Food, Agriculture and Environment (JFAE)
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
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