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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1989;2(2): 115-121.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1989.115    Published online June 1, 1989.
The energy value of rice straw for ruminants as influenced by treatment with anhydrous ammonia or mixing with alfalfa
I. K. Han, J. K. Ha, W. N. Garrett, N. Hinman
A comparative slaughter feeding experiment with steer calves weighing 280 kg and a concurrent digestion trial with wether lambs was conducted to study the energy value of rice straw as influenced by ammonia treatment and mixing with alfalfa hay. Steers were ad libitum fed one of nine completely mixed experimental diets: basal (high concentrate); 25 or 50% of untreated rice straw (URS) or ammoniated (plastic covered bales, 4.6% NH3 by weight) rice straw (ARS) proportionately replacing part of the basal; a 50:50 % mixture of URS or ARS and alfalfa replacing a proportion of the basal at 25 and 50%. Digestibility of the nine complete diets (pelleted to prevent sorting) was determined with four ad libitum fed lambs. Ammoniation increased crude protein level (from 3.6 to 10.8%) and in vitro dry matter digestibility of the rice straw by 15%. The improvement in DE, NEm and NEg by ammoniation of rice straw was 20, 52 and 117%, respectively. Ammoniation of rice straw fed as 50% of the diet improved gains over the diet containing 50% URS, but no significant influence on animal performance was observed when rice straw was fed at the 25% level. Each 10% addition of URS to basal diet decreased empty body gain of steers by 116 gram per day compared with a decrease of 70 gram per day when rice straw had been ammoniated. There was no beneficial effect of ammoniation when the roughage component of the diet was a 50:50 mixture of rice straw and alfalfa. Ammoniation of straw and inclusion of alfalfa generally increased the concentration of total volatile fatty acids in rumen fluid. Ammoniation resulted in reduced concentrations of acetic and propionic acid, but increased concentration of butyric acid. Digestibility of URS was improved by mixing with alfalfa. However, alfalfa hay did not influence digestibility of ARS. Diets in which ARS replaced the basal mixture at 25 and 50% had higher NEm and NEg values than comparable URS diets. The same pattern was observed in the straw: alfalfa mixtures, but differences between URS and ARS were significant only for the 50% roughage diets.
Keywords: Energy Value; Rice Straw; Ammoniation; Alfalfa Addition

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