Digestion and Nitrogen Utilization by Sheep Fed Diets Supplemented with Processed Broiler Litter

  • Kwak, W.S. (Department of Animal Science, Kon-Kuk University) ;
  • Fontenot, J.P. (College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) ;
  • Herbein, J.H. (College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
  • Received : 2003.04.22
  • Accepted : 2003.08.12
  • Published : 2003.11.01


In vivo digestion and metabolism trials were conducted with 10 wethers equipped with ruminal, abomasal, and ileal cannulae to evaluate digestion of ensiled broiler litter (EBL), deepstacked broiler litter (DBL), and composted broiler litter (CBL). Wethers were fed a low protein (6.3% CP) basal diet alone or supplemented to 10.3% CP with EBL, DBL, CBL or soybean meal (SBM). All diets were formulated to be isoenergetic (56% TDN, DM basis). Apparent digestibilities of DM, OM, and ADF were not affected (p<0.05) by diet, but digestibility of CP was improved (p<0.05) by N supplementation. Apparent digestibility of CP was lower (p<0.05) for diets supplemented with CBL and DBL than for diets supplemented with SBM and EBL. Ruminal $NH_3$ concentration was 20 to 24 mg/dl at 2 h after feeding litter-supplemented diets compared with 13 mg/dl for SBM. Abomasal N, $NH_3$ N, and nonammonia N flows were increased (p<0.05) by N supplementation, whereas microbial N flow was not influenced (p<0.05) by diet. Compared with SBM and EBL, undegraded dietary CP flow to the abomasum tended to be greater (p<0.1) when wethers were fed DBL and CBLsupplemented diets. Retention of N (g/d) also was greater (p<0.05) due to greater (p<0.05) N intake and lower (p<0.05) urinary N excretion when wethers were fed diets supplemented with litter (especially EBL) vs. SBM. Overall, characteristics of ruminal fermentation and digestion indicated that broiler litter N was utilized efficiently by wethers, but ensiling may be preferable to deepstacking or composting.



Supported by : John Lee Pratt Animal Nutrition Program


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