Effects of Feeding Urea and Soybean Meal-Treated Rice Straw on Digestibility of Feed Nutrients and Growth Performance of Bull Calves

  • Ahmed, S. (Department of Animal Nutrition, Bangladesh Agricultural University) ;
  • Khan, M.J. (Department of Animal Nutrition, Bangladesh Agricultural University) ;
  • Shahjalal, M. (Department of Animal Nutrition, Bangladesh Agricultural University) ;
  • Islam, K.M.S. (Department of Animal Nutrition, Bangladesh Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2001.08.21
  • Accepted : 2001.11.27
  • Published : 2002.04.01


The experiment was conducted for a period of 56 days with twelve Bangladeshi bull calves of average body weight of $127.20{\pm}11.34$ kg. The calves were divided into 3 groups having 4 animals in each. The animals were fed urea-treated rice straw designated as A) 4% urea-treated rice straw, B) 4% urea+4% soybean-treated rice straw and C) 4% urea+6% soybean-treated rice straw. In addition, all the animals were supplied 2 kg green grass, 350 g Til-oil-cake and 100 g common salt per 100 kg body weight of animals. Straw was treated with 4% urea solution and soybean meal at 4 and 6% were added to treated straw and kept for 48 h in double layer polythene bags under anaerobic condition. Urea treatment improved crude protein (CP) content of rice straw from 2.68 to 8.70% and it was further increased by 10.74 and 12.12% with the addition of 4 and 6% soybean meal. Dry matter (DM) intake (kg) was higher (p<0.05) in C (4.2) followed by B (4.1) and A (4.0). Crude protein intake was significantly higher (p<0.05) in group B and C than group A. Total live weight gains were 20.2, 24.8 and 25.6 kg for calves of group A, B and C respectively (p<0.01). The addition of soybean meal to treated rice straw did not affect the coefficients of digestibility of DM, OM, EE and NFE. However, CP and CF digestibility were significantly higher in group B and C (p<0.05). The values for digestible crude protein (DCP), digestible ether extract (DEE), digestible nitrogen free extract (DNFE) and total digestible nutrients (TDN) were significantly (p<0.05) higher in diet C and B in comparison to diet A, but there were no significant difference in digestible organic matter (DOM) and digestible crude fibre (DCF) value among the groups. It may be concluded that 4% urea treated rice straw can be fed to growing bull calves with 2 kg green grass and a small quantity of concentrate without any adverse effect on feed intake and growth. Moreover, soybean meal at 4 and 6% can be added to urea treated rice straw at the time of treatment for rapid hydrolyzing of urea, which resulted an improvement in nutrient digestibility and better utilization of rice straw for growth of growing bull calves.


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