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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1994;7(3): 363-372.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1994.363    Published online September 1, 1994.
Methods to improve utilization of rice straw III. Effect of urea ammonia treatment and urea molasses blocks supplementation on intake, digestibility, rumen and blood parameters
A. L. Badurdeen, M. N. M. Ibrahim, S. S. E. Ranawana
In two separate experiments with crossbred bulls (Sahiwal 횞 indigenous) the effect of access to a urea-molasses lickblock (MOL-U-MIN) on straw diets was studied. The animals were given either untreated (US) or urea treated (TS) rice straw with or without lickblock supplementation. In experiment 1, individual dry matter intake (DM) and dry matter digestibility (DMD) were measured, while in experiment 2 in addition to the above rumen (pH, ammonia, minerals) and blood (protein, minerals and haemotological) parameters were also measured. With both experiments urea treatment did not effect DMI, but lickblock supplementation significantly (p<0.05) increased DMI. The DMD values obtained in both experiments for TS were significantly (p<0.05) higher than for US, but lickblock supplementation did not effect the DMD of either US or TS fed animals. Both urea treatment (6.97 vs 6.93) and lickblock supplementation (6.98 vs 6.92) significantly (p<0.001) reduced the rumen pH. Urea treatment and lickblock supplementation increased the rumen NH3-N concentration (mg/100 ml) from 8.7 to 11.9 and 9.2 to 11.4, respectively. Both US and TS diets fed with or without lickblock increased the molar ratio of NA:K in saliva. Phosphorus content in blood plasma was significantly (p<0.01) increased due to lickblock supplementation, whereas the Fe content in blood was significantly increased (p<0.01) by urea treatment. Haemoglobin content in blood ranged from 11.3 to 11.7 g/dl, and was not influenced by urea treatment or lickblock supplementation. Lickblock significantly reduced the number of red blood cells, but increased the mean corpuscular volume. It is concluded that feeding urea treated straw with proper mineral supplementation could be a mor economical alternative to lickblock supplementation.
Keywords: Rice Straw; Cattle; Urea Treatment; Lickblock

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