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Digestibility of triticale and barley grains given to sheep whole ground or treated with urea

, : Digestibility of triticale and barley grains given to sheep whole ground or treated with urea. Cyprus Agricultural Research Institute Technical Bulletin (74): 1-5

Apparent digestion coefficients of triticale (TG) and Athenais barley (AG) grains fed whole or ground were determined. In a second experiment, digestion coefficients of untreated (C), urea sprayed (US) or urea sprayed and stored (USS) grains were determined. In both trials the animals were offered a basic diet (400 g concentrate + 200 g barley straw, as fed) of known digestibility and 400 g of the ingredient on test. Grinding did not improve the dry matter (DM) digestibility of the whole diet (ground grains 76%, whole grains 76.2%) or that of the ingredient on test (ground grains 84.8%, whole grains 85.7%). Rumen fermentation pattern, rumen pH (ground grains 6.5, whole grains 6.5) and NH3-N concentration (ground grains 126, whole grains 188 mg/l) were also similar. No significant differences were found in DM digestibility between barley and triticale grains (expt. 1:AG 84.2%, TG 86.3%; expt. 2:AG 86.6%, TG 89.5%). The addition of urea improved dry matter digestibility (C 85.3%, US 90.6%). Storage of urea-sprayed grains did not improve digestibility (US 90.6%, USS 91.2%). Feeding urea-treated grains increased rumen-NH3 concentration (C 174, US 450, USS 360 mg/l) but there were no differences among treatments for rumen fermentation pattern or rumen pH.

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