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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2002;15(10): 1428-1432.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2002.1428    Published online January 1, 2002.
Effects of Supplementing Different Combinations of Nitrogen Supplements on Digestibility and Performance in Sheep Fed Wheat Straw Diets
Yong Li, Defa Li, Jianjun Xing, Shengli Li, Yang Han, In K. Han
Thirty-six (20 wethers and 16 rams) adult Gansu highland finewool sheep with an average liveweight of 19.42 1.83 kg were used. The sheep were allocated to 4 treatments and confined in individual feeding stalls. The 80 day feeding trial was divided into 2 periods of 38 and 42 days. The sheep had access to clean water and were fed chopped wheat straw ad libitum. Daily supplemented diets of 150 g for the first period and 200 g for the later period were provided. The 4 types of supplements were: Wheat bran type (I), which is the traditional feeding practice in the area and the control group; Linseed cake type (II); Linseed cake+poultry litter type (III); Poultry litter+distiller grains type (IV). The digestibility trial was conducted using a total collection method at the end of the first period in the feeding trial. The results showed that the digestibilities of DM, OM, CP, CF, NDF and ADF in group II and III were increased to more than 50%. CP and NDF digestibility in group II were significantly increased by 23.6% and 25.5% respectively over group I (p<0.01) and by 10.1% and 13.1% respectively over group III (p<0.05). The digestibility of DM, OM, CP, CF, NDF and ADF in group IV was lower than group I by 4.4 to 8.4% (p>0.05). Compared to group I, group II and III increased straw intake by 17.6% (p<0.01) and 10.8% (p<0.05). The ADG increased from 16.2 g in group I to 45.3 g and 32.8 g (p<0.01) in group II and III respectively. The ratio of supplement intake to gain decreased from 10.7 in group I to 3.9 and 5.4 (p<0.01) in group II and III respectively. The ratio of supplement cost to gain also decreased by 60.0% and 64.3%, respectively. The wool growth rate and wool strength in these 2 groups were noticeably improved. This significantly enhanced the wool''''''''s textile value. The above parameters in group IV were lower than in group I, except the ratio of supplement cost to gain. This research indicates that local low quality nitrogen resources could be used effectively and economically to improve the utilization of wheat straw fed to sheep on smallholder farms under harsh loess plateau conditions in the winter.
Keywords: Nitrogen Supplements; Wheat Straw; Digestibility; Performance; Sheep in Winter; Loess Plateau

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