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The effect of sodium hydroxide treatment on the chemical composition digestibility and digestible energy content of wheat barley and oat straws


The effect of sodium hydroxide treatment on the chemical composition digestibility and digestible energy content of wheat barley and oat straws



Animal Feed Science and Technology 29(1-2): 73-88



ISSN/ISBN: 0377-8401

DOI: 10.1016/0377-8401(90)90095-p

Changes in digestible energy (DE) and digestibility in vivo of 10 samples of wheat, barley and oat straw following farm-scale treatment with sodium hydroxide (45 kg NaOH t-1 dry matter (DM)) were studied using sheep. A range of laboratory measurements were also examined for their relationship with digestible organic matter in the dry matter (DOMD) and DE content measured in vivo. These laboratory methods included three estimates of digestibility in vitro, two methods using cellulase and the other using rumen fluid. NaOH treatment reduced the hemicellulose content of the DM (P < 0.001) and this resulted in an increased content of cellulose and lignin in the remaining cell wall. The mean increases in DOMD, coefficient of organic matter digestibility (OMD) and DE contents in vivo were 161 g kg-1, 0.213 and 2.42Mj kg-1 DM, respectively although these varied considerably. No significant differences between the straw species were apparent as a result of upgrading and there appeared to be no effect of initial nutritive value of the straw on the degree of response to treatment. No laboratory measurement was found to be an accurate predictor of DOMD in vivo or of DE content.

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Accession: 007892180

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