Effect of Elemental Sulfur Supplementation on Rumen Environment Parameters and Utilization Efficiency of Fresh Cassava Foliage and Cassava Hay in Dairy Cattle

  • Promkot, C. (Animal Science, Faculty of Natural resources, Rajamangala University of Technology Isan) ;
  • Wanapat, Metha (Animal Science, Faculty of Natural resources, Rajamangala University of Technology Isan)
  • Received : 2009.02.28
  • Accepted : 2009.05.06
  • Published : 2009.10.01


Effect of sulfur (S) on utilization efficiency of fresh cassava foliage and cassava hay in dairy cows was evaluated using thirty-two $1^{st}-2^{nd}$ lactation Holstein-Friesian crossbred dairy cows. The experimental treatment was a 2${\times}$2 factorial arrangement in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) using two roughages (rice straw+fresh cassava foliage (FCF) and rice straw+cassava hay (CH)) and two elemental sulfur (S) levels (0.15 and 0.4% S of dry matter (DM)), respectively. Four dietary treatments (FCF+0.15, FCF+0.4, CH+0.15 and CH+0.4) were offered ad libitum in the form of a total mixed ration (TMR) with concentrate to roughage (chopped rice straw+chopped cassava foliage) ratio at 60:40. Fresh cassava foliage or cassava hay resulted in similar dry mater intake, rumen ecology parameters, total tract digestibility, blood chemistry, milk production and composition. However, HCN intake, blood and milk thiocyanate concentration were significantly higher (p<0.01) in cows fed fresh cassava foliage with no sign of potential toxicity. Dry matter intake, body weight changes, molar percentage of propionate in rumen, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) digestibility and nitrogen (N) retention of cows tended to be increased while DM digestibility (65.6, 72.7, 68.6 and 72.1% of total DM intake for the respective treatments), rumen bacteria population (1.4, 1.7, 1.6 and $1.7{\times}10^{11}$ cell/ml for respective treatments), fungal zoospore population (0.4, 0.6, 0.4 and $0.5{\times}10^{6}$ cell/ml for respective treatments), urinary allantoin (25.3, 28.0, 26.3 and 27.6 g/d for respective treatments), microbial N yield (136.0, 154.6, 142.8 and 151.3 g N/d for respective treatments) and milk protein content (3.4, 3.5, 3.2 and 3.5% for respective treatments) were significantly (p<0.05) higher in cows fed on supplemented sulfur at 0.4% of DM in comparison with 0.15% S-supplemented diets. Based on these results, it is concluded that cassava foliage could be used as a portion of roughage for dairy cows and supplementation of S would be nutritionally beneficial.


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