Catalytic Supplementation of Urea-molasses on Nutritional Performance of Male Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) Calves

  • Sahoo, A. (Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Regional Station) ;
  • Elangovan, A.V. (Nutrition and Feed Technology, Central Avian Research Institute) ;
  • Mehra, U.R. (Animal Nutrition Division, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Singh, U.B. (Animal Nutrition Division, Indian Veterinary Research Institute)
  • 투고 : 2003.06.11
  • 심사 : 2004.01.05
  • 발행 : 2004.05.01


Twenty male buffalo calves of 6-9 months of age (average body weight, 97 kg) were randomly allocated into two main groups of four (control) and sixteen (supplemented) calves. The supplemented group was further divided in to four equal sub-groups, with the two groups supplemented with a liquid preparation of urea-molasses, UML1, containing fish meal and UML2, containing formaldehyde treated deoiled mustard cake (FDMC) and the other two, with a semi-solid preparation, UMC1 with FDMC and deoiled rice bran (DORB) contributing similar level of CP as in UML2 and UMC2 with double the level of FDMC to that in UMC1. The control group was fed with DORB along with ad libitum wheat straw at 40:60 ratios. The rest of the groups were fed on the above diet supplemented with 500 g (as fed basis) of urea-molasses preparations. The experimental feeding was carried out for 24 weeks including a metabolism trial towards the end of experimental feeding. Daily feed intake and fortnightly change in live weight were also recorded during the study. Catalytic supplementation of 500 g urea-molasses induced 8-25% higher voluntary feed intake of wheat straw, resulting in 15-25% higher DM and OM intake. The digestibility of DM, OM, total carbohydrate, NDF, ADF, hemicellulose and cellulose in all the dietary groups were comparable. The CP digestibility of calves in supplemented groups were higher (p<0.05) than the control group. The balance of nutrients, viz. N, Ca and P, was also higher in the supplemented groups. Significantly higher intake of digestible CP coupled with other digestible nutrients attributed to higher TDN (1.67-1.78 vs. 1.37 kg) and ME (5.94-6.31 vs. 4.87 Mcal) intake in urea-molasses supplemented groups which resulted in higher live weight gain compared to that in control group (p<0.01). Between the supplements, UML2 and UMC2 faired non-significantly, indicating formalin treated mustard cake as a suitable replacement to fishmeal in the supplement. The overall ranking based on intake and digestibility of nutrients, live weight gain, economic evaluation and input-output relationship revealed that the rations with UML2 and UMC1 to be of greater value compared to other types. From the study it can be concluded that young ruminants can be reared successfully on a basal diet of deoiled rice bran and wheat straw supplemented with cheaper urea-molasses-mineral mix.


  1. AOAC. 1975. Official Methods of Analysis. 12th edition, Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Washington DC. pp. 11-12.
  2. AOAC. 1984. Official Methods of Analysis. 14th edition, Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Washington DC.
  3. Challa, J., G. D. Braithwaite and M. S. Dhanoa. 1989. Ohosphorous homeostasis of growing calves. J. Agric. Sci. Camb. 112:217-226.
  4. Chaudhary, L. C., A. Sahoo, Neeta Agarwal, D. N. Kamra and N. N. Pathak. 2001. Effect of replacing grain with deoiled rice bran and molasses from the diet of lactating cows. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 14:646-650.
  5. Chowdhury, S. A. and K. S. Huque. 1997. Feeding urea and molasses on a straw diet: urea molasses block vs. urea molasses straw. In: Livestock Feed Resources within Integrated Farming Systems. Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute, Dhaka. pp. 221-224.
  6. Dass, R. S., A. K. Verma and U. R. Mehra. 1996. Effect of feeding urea-molasses liquid diet on nutrient utilization, rumen fermentation pattern and blood profile in adult male buffaloes. Buffalo J. 12:11-22.
  7. Giri, S. S., A. Sahoo and N. N. Pathak. 2000. Feed intake, digestibility, plane of nutrition and live weight gain by growing bulls fed on grainless diets containing different nitrogen sources. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 83:195-203.
  8. Hosamani, S. V., U. R. Mehra and R. S. Dass. 2003. Effect of different source of energy on urea molasses mineral block intake, nutrient utilization, rumen fermentation pattern and blood profile in Murrah buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis). Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 16:818-822.
  9. Jackson, A. A., J. Doherty, M. H. DeBenoist, J. Hibbert and C. Persaud. 1990. The effect of the level of dietary protein, carbohydrate and fat on urea kinetics in young children during rapid catch-up weight gain. Br. J. Nutr. 64:371-385.
  10. Jayasuriya, M. C. N. 1987. Improvement of poor quality roughages. In: Advanced Animal Nutrition for Developing Countries, (Ed. U. B. Singh), Indo-Vision Pvt. Ltd., Ghaziabad, pp. 236-259.
  11. Johri, C. B., S. K. Ranjhan and N. N. Pathak. 1982. Effect of urea and molasses supplementation of wheat straw on the voluntary intake and utilization of organic nutrients in growing male buffalo calves. Indian J. Anim. Sci. 52:284-288.
  12. Kearl, L. C. 1982. Nutrient Requirement of Ruminants in Developing Countries. International Feed Stuffs Institute, Utah State University, Logan, UT, p. 82.
  13. Kunju, P. J. 1986. Urea molasses block a future animal feed supplement. Asian Livestock, 12:154-159.
  14. Leng, R. A. 1984. The potential of solidified molasses based blocks for the correction of multinutritional deficiencies in buffaloes and other ruminants fed low quality agro-industrial by products. The Use of Nuclear Techniques to Improve Domestic Buffalo Production in Asia. IAEA, Viena, pp. 135-150.
  15. Mehra, U. R., A. K. Verma and R. S. Dass. 1998. Effect of restricted and ad libitum feeding of urea molasses liquid diet (UMLD) on the performance of adult crossbred cattle. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 11:30-34.
  16. Millward, D. J., G. M. Price, P. J. H. Pacy and D. Halliday. 1991. Whole body protein and amino acid turnover in man: what can we measure with confidence? Proc. Nutr. Soc. 50:197-216.
  17. Moran, J. B. 1983. Rice bran as a supplement to elephant grass for cattle and buffalo in Indonesia. I. Feed intake, utilization and growth rates. J. Agric. Sci. Camb. 10:709-716.
  18. NRC. 1989. Nutrient Requirement of Dairy Cattle, 6th edn. National Academy of Sciences. National Research Council Publication, Washington DC, USA.
  19. NRC. 2001. Nutrient Requirement of Dairy Cattle, 7th edn. National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council Publication, Washington DC, USA.
  20. Orskov, E. R. and C. Fraser. 1970. The effect of increasing the concentration of urea or fish-meal in a rolled barley diet on protein absorption from the small intestine of sheep. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 29:31A.
  21. Pathak, N. N. and S. K. Ranjhan. 1976. Effect of urea-molases liquid diet feeding as the main source of nitrogen and energy along with limited amount of cereal forage and intact protein on voluntary intake, growth response and utilization of nutrients in crossbred calves (Bos indicus ${\times}$ Bos taurus). Indian J. Anim. Sci. 40:515.
  22. Preston, T. R. and R. A. Leng. 1984. Supplementation of diets based on fibrous residues and by products. In: (Ed. F. Sundstol and E. Owen) Straw and Other Fibrous By-products as Feed. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 373-413.
  23. Preston, T. R. and R. A. Leng. 1987. Matching livestock production system with available resources in the tropics and sub-tropics. Penambul Books, Armidale, NSW, Australia, pp. 161-180.
  24. Preston, T. R., A. Elias, M. B. Willis and T. M. Sutherland. 1967. Intensive beef production from molasses and urea. Nature 216:721.
  25. Ranjhan, S. K. 1998. Nutrient Requirements of Livestock and Poultry. ICAR, New Delhi, India.
  26. Sahoo, A. and N. N. Pathak. 1996a. Effect of different sources of protein on growth and nutrient utilization in yearling crossbred cattle. Indian J. Anim. Nutr. 13:109-112.
  27. Sahoo, A. and N. N. Pathak. 1996b. Growth and nutrient utilization studies in crossbred (Bos indicus${\times}$Bos taurus) calves reared on animal protein free calf starter. Indian J. Anim. Sci. 66:92-95.
  28. Sahoo, A., S. C. Mishra and N. N. Pathak. 2002. Dietary protein restriction on growth and immuno-biochemical response of crossbred calves during post-ruminant phase of life. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 15:1121-1127.
  29. Singh, R. P. and S. K. Talapatra. 1971. Utilization of calcium as influenced by varying levels of dietary protein in young Haryana calves. Indian J. Anim. Sci. 41:9-11.
  30. Smith, R. H. 1979. Synthesis of microbial nitrogen compounds in the rumen and their subsequent digestion. J. Anim. Sci. 49:1604.
  31. Snedecor, G. W. and W. G. Cohran. 1989. Statistical Methods, 9th Ed. Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa, USA.
  32. Talapatra, S. K., S. C. Ray and K. C. Sen. 1940. The analysis of mineral constituents in a biological materials. 1. Estimation of phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium in food stuffs. Indian J. Vet. Sci. Anim. Hus. 10:243-258.
  33. Tyagi, P. K. and JaiKishan. 1983. Influence of levels of protein on nitrogen absorption and excretion rate in crossbred goats. Indian J. Anim. Sci. 53:1098-1103.
  34. Van Soest, P. J., J. B. Robertson and B. A. Lewis. 1991. Methods of dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber and non-starch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. J. Dairy Sci. 74:3583-3597.