Non-traditional Straws: Alternate Feedstuffs for Ruminants

  • Kaushal, S. (Department of Animal Nutrition, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University) ;
  • Wadhwa, M. (Department of Animal Nutrition, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University) ;
  • Bakshi, M.P.S. (Department of Animal Nutrition, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University)
  • Received : 2005.08.04
  • Accepted : 2006.03.23
  • Published : 2005.12.01


The nutritive value of 4 straws, obtained after thrashing of seeds from fodder crops, was assessed as complete feed for ruminants. Sixteen male Murrah buffaloes (liveweight 365.8${\pm}$19.5 kg), were divided into 4 equal groups and offered ad lib. straw of either Trifolium resupinatum, Trifolium alexandrium, Medicago sativa or Lolium perenne, supplemented with minerals and vitamin A, for 40 days in a completely randomized design. Simultaneously, each straw was offered to 3 rumen fistulated male buffaloes in order to assess the biochemical changes in the rumen. Compared to other straws M. sativa straw had higher (p<0.05) organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP), acid-detergent fiber (ADF) and cellulose content. L .perenne had the highest (p<0.05) hemicellulose and lowest (p<0.05) CP and acid-detergent lignin (ADL) content. T. resupinatum had the lowest concentration of cell wall constituents (CWC). The digestibility of nutrients of T. resupinatum and L. perenne straw was similar, but higher (p<0.05) than that of other straws. M.sativa straw showed highest (p<0.05) digestibility of CP. The highest OM digestibility of T. resupinatum and CP digestibility of M. sativa were responsible for highest (p<0.05) total volatile fatty acids and trichloroacetic acid precipitable nitrogen in the strained rumen liquor. The digestible crude protein (DCP) was highest (p<0.05) in M. sativa followed by that in T. alexandrium. The total purine derivatives excreted in urine varied from 0.22-0.32 mmol/kg $W^{.75}/d$. The efficiency of microbial protein synthesis indicated that OM of straws of M. sativa and that of T. alexandrium was used more (p<0.05) efficiently. The microbial protein synthesized was highest in T. resupinatum, but statistically similar to other groups. The values for N-retention and apparent biological value were highest for L. perenne, though comparable with that of M. sativa and T. alexandrium. The available metabolizable energy (ME) was highest (p<0.05) in T. resupinatum followed by that in L. perenne and lowest in M. sativa. It was concluded that all the straws, supplemented with minerals and vitamin A, could be fed exclusively to adult ruminants with no adverse affect, as animals were able to maintain body weight (372${\pm}$20.1 kg).


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