Improving the nutritive value of wheat straw for buffaloes by urea treatment


Urea treatment· Wheat straw· Buffaloes

How to Cite

Improving the nutritive value of wheat straw for buffaloes by urea treatment. (1989). Tropical Agriculture, 66(4).


Wheat straw was treated with 3.2, 4.3 and 5.3 g of urea and 58.5 ml of water 100 g-1 straw DM and ensiled for one month at 26 ± 2°C ambient temperature. The treatment did not change the cell wall constituents of the straw, but the N content and nylon bag DM degradability (NBDMD) at 48 h increased significantly (P < 0.01); the increase was similar irrespective of urea levels. In another experiment, treatment with 3.2% urea for 1, 1.5, 2, 3 and 9 months with 0, 8.0, 16.8, 25.3, 33.7 and 42.1 ml of water 100 g-1 DM of wheat straw gave maximum NBDMD at 40 - 50 ml of water and treatment duration of one month. In extended durations NBDMD decreased. Water alone decreased (P < 0.01) NBDMD and maximum degradability was observed at 70 ml water along with 3.2 q urea 100 g-1 straw DM in another experiment. However, water level could be reduced to 33.5 ml 100 g-1 DM without decreasing degradability significantly. A feeding trial with nine buffaloes showed that 3.2 kg urea 100 kg-1 straw DM along with 58.5 I of water, and one month treatment resulted in 19% increase in DM digestibility. Urea solution added at the time of feeding did not have a similar effect. Total digestible nutrient requirements of buffaloes could be met with treated straw, as DM intake was also increased by 48%. However, the animals showed negative N balance; about 64% of increased N intake passed out in faeces.