• Nishino, N. (Faculty of Agriculture, Okayama University) ;
  • Ohshima, M. (The Farm, School of Agriculture, Nagoya University) ;
  • Miyase, K. (The Farm, School of Agriculture, Nagoya University) ;
  • Yokota, H. (The Farm, School of Agriculture, Nagoya University)
  • Received : 1992.05.12
  • Accepted : 1992.09.15
  • Published : 1993.03.01


First crop of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) was harvested, wilted and ensiled with or without NaOH or $NH_3$, and fed to three rumen fistulated goats in a $3{\times}3$ Latin-square design. Each alkali treatment (2.44% of alfalfa dry matter) was made by spraying its solution prior to ensiling. Silage pH, $NH_3-N$ and butyric acid concentration were increased with each alkali addition, and NaOH-treated silage showed the lowest chemical quality. Compared with untreated silage, digestibilities of organic matter, ADF and cellulose were depressed by both alkali treatments, and the reductions in NaOH-treated silage were significant. Crude protein digestibility was also significantly decreased in NaOH-treated silage, but the goats receiving the silage excreted less nitrogen in urine than those on the other two silages. Nitrogen retention of goats was not different among the treatments. Ruminal solubility and potential degradability of dry matter and nitrogen determined with the in situ bag technique were reduced, and rate of degradation of the two components were increased by the NaOH treatment. Addition of $NH_3$ provided ruminal soluble nitrogen to the silage, but the rate of degradation was similar to that of untreated silage. These results suggest that NaOH treatment would denature the protein and reduce the susceptibility to microbial degradation in the rumen, while no positive effect of alkali treatment on fiber digestion and nitrogen utilization was observed in this study.

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