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J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2009 Feb;93(1):94-104. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0396.2007.00784.x.

Feeding value of enset (Ensete ventricosum), Desmodium intortum hay and untreated or urea and calcium oxide treated wheat straw for sheep.

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Department of Animal and Aquaculture Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, Aas 1432, Norway.


Feed intake, in vivo nutrient digestibility and nitrogen utilization were evaluated in male sheep fed different fractions (leaf, pseudostem, corm, whole plant) of enset, untreated or 2% urea- and 3% calcium oxide- (CaO or lime) treated wheat straw and Desmodium intortum hay as sole diets. All feeds, except D. intortum hay and enset leaf had low crude protein (CP) content. Non-fiber carbohydrate contents were higher in enset fractions, especially in pseudostem and corm relative to other feeds. Enset leaf and pseudostem had high calcium, phosphorus and manganese contents. Corm, whole enset and D. intortum hay were rich sources of zinc. Daily dry matter and CP intakes were higher (p < 0.05) in sheep fed D. intortum hay (830 and 133 g, respectively) than those fed pseudostem (92 and 7.8 g, respectively). Organic matter digestibilities were highest for corm (0.780) and whole enset (0.776) and lowest for D. intortum hay (0.534) and untreated wheat straw (0.522). The CP digestibility ranged from 0.636 in D. intortum hay to 0.408 in corm. Nitrogen (N) balance was highest (p < 0.05) in D. intortum hay (10.4 g/day) and lowest in corm (-1.3 g/day). Enset leaf could be a useful protein supplement whereas the pseudostem and corm could be good sources of energy.

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