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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1996;9(2): 181-188.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1996.181    Published online April 1, 1996.
Effect of urea on wet rice straw for preserving its keeping quality and nutritive value in cattle diets
S. A. Chowdhury, K. S. Huque
About 8 million tons of straw (dry matter) become rotten during the monsoon(June to August) season in Bangladesh. The possibility of preserving straw with urea, under wet condition during dry period (December to May) and its utilization by cattle has been studied. Five tons of fresh and wet(600g DM/kg material) rice straw were preserved for six months, with 5% urea(W/W) in either dome or rectangular shaped heap without any polythene cover. The preservation quality, acceptability and nutritive value of preserved straw were then comparted with that of dry straw in growing cattle. In both types of heaps, straw was excellently preserved having strong ammonia smell,dark brown in colour with no fungal infestation. Urea preservation of straw increased its CP and ADF content. Preserved straw was readily accepted by the animals and they were healthy throughout the experimental period. Compared to dry straw, urea preserved straw had nonsignificantly higher rumen degradability, straw intgake and growth rate. Similarly, digestibilities of DM(p<0.01), OM(p<0.01) & ADF(p<0.01) were significantly higher in the preserved than the dry straw. It was concluded that wet straw with relatively lower moisture(400 to 500 g/kg straw) content can be readily preserved by using urea without being covered with polythene. Whether the same phenomenon occurs in the preservation of fresh and weet rice straw with relatively higher moisture(600 to 700 g/kg straw) content is yet to be determined.
Keywords: Wet Straw; Preservation; Urea; Nutritive Value

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