Send to

Choose Destination
Asian-Australas J Anim Sci. 2015 Apr;28(4):494-501. doi: 10.5713/ajas.14.0406.

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.

Author information

Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor 43400, Malaysia .
Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor 43400, Malaysia .


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±4.2 g/kg BW(0.75)) and DM, organic matter (OM), and crude protein (CP) digestibility (55.3±1.22; 69.9±0.85; 46.3±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±0.32 g/d). In contrast, the rumen ammonia (NH3-N) concentrations in sheep fed T2 and T3 were significantly (p<0.05) higher than in sheep fed T1. The NH3-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.


Feed Supplementation; Fermentable Energy; Fermentable Protein; Mulberry (Morus alba); Sheep

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Publishing M2Community Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center