Synergistic Effect of Urea and Lime Treatment of Wheat Straw on Chemical Composition, In Sacco and In Vitro Digestibility

  • Sirohi, S.K. (Dairy Cattle Nutrition Division, National Dairy Research Institute) ;
  • Rai, S.N. (Dairy Cattle Nutrition Division, National Dairy Research Institute)
  • Received : 1998.09.11
  • Accepted : 1999.01.27
  • Published : 1999.11.01


Chopped wheat straw (0.5-1.5 cm) was subjected to different treatment combinations in a $5{\times}4$ factorial arrangement involving the five levels of urea (0, 2, 3, 4 and 5%, w/w) and four levels of lime (0, 2, 4 and 6%, w/w) at 50% moisture and kept for 3 wk reaction period at about $35{^{\circ}C}$ in laboratory. Treated wheat straw samples were analyzed to study the associative effect of urea and lime on chemical composition, in sacco and in vitro digestibilities. Results showed that cell wall constituents (CWC) solubilized significantly (p<0.01) due to urea and lime treatment on one hand and substantially increase the crude protein (CP) on the other in wheat straw. The main effect on synergism of both chemicals was noticed on organic matter (OM), neutral detergent fibre (NDF), hemicellulose (HC), acid detergent lignin (ADL) and silica by solubilising their contents as a result of considerable increase in cell contents in treated wheat straw. The respective decreases were 5.45, 13.0, 37.23, 44.95 and 26.16% in different treatment combinations. The most interesting feature of the treatment was evident by increase in ash content on each level of lime application. CP content increase up to 12.78% due to urea treatment in comparison with untreated wheat straw (2.56%). The effect of solubilization of structural carbohydrates and increased crude protein due to synergistic effect of urea and lime were clearly seen on improved digestibility of OM and DM. The increase in ISOMD, ISDMD, and IVDMD were 21.67, 21.67, 16.24, and 17.5 units. The increase in digestibility were relative to additions of both chemicals and digestibility values increased with increasing levels of urea plus lime concentration in different treatment combination. The maximum improvement was noticed at 4% urea and 4% lime levels at 50% moisture for 3 wk reaction period in treated wheat straw.

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