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Effects of soybean meal supplementation on fiber digestion in the rumen and voluntary intake of rice straw by sheep

, : Effects of soybean meal supplementation on fiber digestion in the rumen and voluntary intake of rice straw by sheep. Japanese Journal of Zootechnical Science 59(12): 1034-1039

Rice straw (RS) was offered to three rumen fistulated wethers, alone or supplemented with soybean meal (SBM) at 100, 200 or 300 g per day, to investigate the effects of SBM supplementation on the supply on nitrogen (N) and energy to the ruminal microbes, ruminal fiber digestion and voluntary intake of RS. Ruminal degradation of crude protien, organic matter and cell wall constitutents (CWC) was measured by the in sacco technique. The SBM supplementation increased the degradability of crude protein, but had little effect on the organic matter degradation. The rumen degradable N supply, and the ratio of N and energy supply to the ruminal microbes were improved with the increasing level of SBM supplementation. the potential extent of ruminal CWC digestion was low for RS and it was not affected by SBM supplementation. Both rates of ruminal CWC digestion and passage of digesta from the rumen were increased slightly with the increasing level of SBM supplementation. The retention-time index declined with SBM supplementation, but still was high even at the highest level of SBM supplementation. The voluntary intake of RS showed a small increase as a result of 100 g SBM supplementation, and leveled off thereafter. These results suggest that it is difficult to increase the voluntary RS intake only by supplementation with N sources.

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