Effects of Supplementation of Mulberry (Morus alba) Foliage and Urea-rice Bran as Fermentable Energy and Protein Sources in Sheep Fed Urea-treated Rice Straw Based Diet

  • Yulistiani, Dwi (Indonesian Research Institute for Animal Production) ;
  • Jelan, Z.A. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia) ;
  • Liang, J.B. (Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia) ;
  • Yaakub, H. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia) ;
  • Abdullah, N. (Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia)
  • Received : 2014.05.28
  • Accepted : 2014.10.08
  • Published : 2015.04.01


A digestibility study was conducted to evaluate the effects of supplementing mulberry foliage and urea rice-bran as a source of fermentable energy and protein to 12 sheep fed diets based on urea-treated rice straw (TRS). The three dietary treatments were: T1, TRS with mulberry; T2, TRS with 50% mulberry replaced with rice bran and urea; and T3, TRS with rice bran and urea. The study was arranged in a completely randomized design with four replications for each treatment. The sheep were fed one of the three diets and the supplements were offered at 1.2% of the body weight (BW) and the TRS was provided ad libitum. There were no differences (p>0.05) among the three treatment groups with respect to dry matter (DM) intake ($76.8{\pm}4.2g/kg\;BW^{0.75}$) and DM, organic matter (OM), and crude protein (CP) digestibility ($55.3{\pm}1.22$; $69.9{\pm}0.85$; $46.3{\pm}1.65%$ respectively for DM, OM, and CP). The digestibility of fiber (neutral detergent fiber [NDF] and acid detergent fiber) was significantly lower (p<0.05) for T3 (46.2 and 46.6 respectively) compared to T1 (55.8 and 53.7 respectively) and T2 (54.1 and 52.8 respectively). Nitrogen (N) intake by sheep on diet T3 was significantly (p<0.05) higher than sheep fed diet T1. However, N balance did not differ among the three diets ($3.0{\pm}0.32g/d$). In contrast, the rumen ammonia ($NH_3-N$) concentrations in sheep fed T2 and T3 were significantly (p<0.05) higher than in sheep fed T1. The $NH_3-N$ concentrations for all three diets were above the critical value required for optimum rumen microbial growth and synthesis. Total volatile fatty acid concentrations were highest (p<0.05) in T1 (120.3 mM), whilst the molar proportion of propionic acid was highest in T3 (36.9%). However, the microbial N supply in sheep fed T1 and T3 was similar but was significantly (p<0.05) higher than for sheep fed T2. It was concluded that mulberry foliage is a potential supplement of fermentable energy and protein for sheep fed TRS based diet. The suggested level of supplementation is 1.2% of BW or 32% of the total diet since it resulted in similar effects on the intake of DM, OM, and NDF, digestibility of DM, OM, and CP, N utilization and microbial supply when compared to rice bran and urea supplementation.


  1. Chen, X. B. and M. J. Gomest. 1992. Estimation of Microbial Protein Supply to Sheep and Cattle Based on Purine Derivatives: An Overview of Technical Details. Occasional publication of International Feed Resources Unit. Rowett Research Institute, Bucksburn, Aberdeen, UK.
  2. Cottyn, B. G. and C. V. Bouque. 1968. Rapid method for the gaschromatographic determination of volatile fatty acids in rumen fluid. J. Agric. Food Chem. 16:105-107.
  3. Durand, M. and R. Kawashima. 1980. Influence of minerals in rumen microbial digestion. In: Digestive Physiology and Metabolism in Ruminants (Eds. Y. Ruckebusch and P. Thivend). MTP Press, Lancaster, UK. pp. 375-408.
  4. Elseed, A. M. A. F. 2004. Performance of sheep offered ammonia, or urea-calcium hydroxide treated rice straw as an only feed. Anim. Sci. J. 75:411-415.
  5. Huyen, N. T., M. Wanapat, and C. Navanukraw. 2012. Effect of mulberry leaf pellet (MUP) supplementation on rumen fermentation and nutrient digestibility in beef cattle fed on rice straw-based diets. Anim. Feed. Sci. Technol. 175:8-15.
  6. Heldt, J. S., R. C. Cochran, G. L. Stokka, C. G. Farmer, C. P. Mathis, E. C. Titgemeyer, and T. G. Nagaraja. 1999a. Effects of different supplemental sugars and starch fed in combination with degradable intake protein on low-quality forage use by beef steers. J. Anim. Sci. 77:2793-2802.
  7. Heldt, J. S., R. C. Cochran, C. P. Mathis, B. C. Woods, K. C. Olson, E. C. Titgemeyer, T. G. Nagaraja, E. S. Vanzant, and D. E. Johnson. 1999b. Effects of level and source of carbohydrate and level of degradable intake protein on intake and digestion low-quality tallgrass-prairie hay by beef steers. J. Anim. Sci. 77:2846-2854.
  8. Herrera-Saldana, R., R. Gomez-Alarcon, M. Torabi, and J. T. Huber. 1990. Influence of synchronizing protein and starch degradation in the rumen on nutrient utilization and microbial protein synthesis. J. Dairy Sci. 73:142-148.
  9. Hoover, W. H. and S. R. Stokes. 1991. Balancing carbohydrates and proteins for optimum rumen microbial yield. J. Dairy Sci. 74:3630-3644.
  10. Hristov, A. N., J. K. Ropp, K. L. Grandeen, S. Abedi, R. P. Etter, A. Melgar, and A. E. Foley. 2005. Effect of carbohydrate source on ammonia utilization in lactating dairy cow. J. Anim. Sci. 83:408-421.
  11. Kozloski, G. V., M. V. Reffatti, L. M. Bonnecarrere Sanchez, L. D. Lima, L. R. Cadorin Jr, C. J. Harter, and G. Fiorentini. 2007. Intake and digestion by lambs fed a low-quality grass hay supplemented or not with urea, casein or cassava meal. Anim. Feed. Sci. Technol. 136:191-202.
  12. AOAC. 1990. Association of Official Analytical Chemist, Official Method of Analysis. 12th Edition. Washington, DC, USA.
  13. Balcells, J., J. A. Guada, J. M. Piero, and D. S. Parker. 1992. Simultaneous determination of allantoin and oxypurines in biological fluids by high-performance liquid chromatography. J. Chromatogr. B. Biomed. Sci. Appl. 575:153-157.
  14. Liu, J. X., A. Susenbeth, and K. H. Sudekum. 2002. In vitro gas production measurements to evaluate interactions between untreated and chemically treated rice straws, grass hay, and mulberry leaves. J. Anim. Sci. 80:517-524.
  15. Liu, J. X., Jun Yao, B. Yana, J. Q. Yu, and Z. Q. Shi. 2001. Effects of mulberry leaves to replace rapeseed meal on performance of sheep feeding on ammoniated rice straw diet. Small Rumin. Res. 39:131-136.
  16. Maeng, W. J. and R. L. Baldwin. 1976. Factors influencing rumen microbial growth rates and yields: Effects of urea and amino acids over time. J. Dairy Sci. 59:643-647.
  17. Martin, C., L. Millet, G. Fonty, and B. Michalet-Doreau. 2001. Cereal supplementation modified the fibrolytic activity but not the structure of the cellulolytic bacterial community associated with rumen solid digesta. Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 41:413-424.
  18. Melaku, S., K. J. Peters, and A. Tegegne. 2004. Intake, digestibility and passage rate in Menz sheep fed tef (Eragrostis tef) straw supplemented with dried leaves of selected multipurpose trees, their mixtures or wheat bran. Small Rumin. Res. 56:139-149.
  19. Mclay, P. S., A. E. Pereka, M. R. Weisbjerg, T. Hvelplund, and J. Madsen. 2003. Digestion and passage kinetics in fiber in mature dairy heifers maintained on poor quality hay as affected by the source and level of nitrogen supplementation. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 109:19-33.
  20. Mould, F. L., E. R. Orskov, and S. O. Mann. 1983. Associative effects of mixed feed. I. Effects of type and level of supplementation and the influence of the rumen pH on cellulolysis in vivo and dry matter digestion of various roughages. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 10:15-30.
  21. Oh, Y. G., K. H. Kim, J. H. Kim, J. J. Choung, and D. G. Chamberlain. 1999. The effect of the form of nitrogen in the diet on ruminal fermentation and the yield of microbial protein in sheep consuming diets of grass silage supplemented with starch or sucrose. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 78:227-237.
  22. Olson, K. C., R. C. Cochran, T. J. Jones, E. S. Vanzant, E. C. Titgemeyer, and D. E. Johnson. 1999. Effects of ruminal administration of supplemental degradable intake protein and starch on utilization of low-quality warm-season grass hay by beef steers. J. Anim. Sci. 77:1016-1025.
  23. Orskov, E. R. and M. Ryle. 1990. Energy Nutrition in Ruminants. Elsevier Applied Science, London and New York, UK and USA.
  24. Owen, F. N. and R. Zinn. 1988. Protein metabolism of ruminant animals. In: The Ruminant Animal Digestive Physiology and Nutrition. (Ed. D. C. Church). Waveland Press Inc., Prospect Hights, IL, USA. pp. 227-249.
  25. Preston, T. R. and R. A. Leng. 1987. Matching Ruminant Production Systems with Available Resources in The Tropics and Sub-Tropics. Penambul Books, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia.
  26. Saddul, D., Z. A. Jelan, J. B. Liang, and R. A. Halim. 2005. Evaluation of mulberry (Morus alba) as potential feed supplement for ruminants: The effect of plant maturity on in situ disappearance and in vitro intestinal digestibility of plant fractions. Asian Australas. J. Anim. Sci.18:1569-1574.
  27. SAS. 1989. SAS/STAT User's Guide (Release 6.12) SAS Inst, Inc. Carry, NC, USA.
  28. Satter, L. D. and L. L. Slyter. 1974. Effect of ammonia concentration on rumen microbial protein production in vitro. Br. J. Nutr. 32:199-208.
  29. Silva, T. A. and E. R. Orskov. 1988. The effect of five different supplements on the degradation of straw in sheep given untreated barley straw. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 19:289-298.
  30. Stewart, C. S. 1977. Factors affecting the cellulolytic activity of rumen contents. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 33:497-502.
  31. Van Soest, P. J., J. B. Robertson, and B. A. Lewis. 1991. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber, and nonstarch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. J. Dairy Sci. 74:3583-3593.
  32. Van Soest, P. J. 1994. Nutritional Ecology of Ruminants. 2nd edn. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, USA.
  33. Van Soest, P. J. 2006. Rice straw, the role of silica and treatments to improve quality. Review. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 130:137-171.
  34. Yulistiani, D., Z. A. Jelan, J. B. Liang, H. Yaakub, and N. Abdullah. 2007. The use of in vitro gas production technique to evaluate molasses supplementation to mulberry (Morus alba) and rice straw mixed diets. Indonesian J. Anim. Vet. Sci .12:255-261.
  35. Yulistiani, D., Z. A. Jelan, and J. B. Liang. 2008. Degradability of Mulberry (Morus alba) and rice bran in the rumen of sheep fed different diets. Indonesian J. Anim. Vet. Sci. 13:264-272.
  36. Yulistiani, D., Z. A. Jelan, J. B. Liang, and N. Abdullah. 2011. Effect of different supplement on degradation of dry matter and fiber of untreated and urea treated rice straw in the rumen of sheep. J. Indonesian Trop. Anim. Agric. 36:252-259.

Cited by

  1. Feeding of Total Mixed Ration on the Productivity of Friesian Holstein Cross-Grade Cattle vol.119, pp.1755-1315, 2018,