Effect of Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa L.) Hay Supplementation and Urea Molasses Block on Feed Intake, Digestibility, and Body Weight Change of Yearling Local Sheep Fed Grass Hay as Basal Diet

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24925/turjaf.v11i6.1067-1073.5989

Keywords:

Alfalfa hay, Local sheep, Supplementation, Urea molasses block, Performance

Abstract

A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of supplementation of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) hay and urea molasses block on feed intake, digestibility, and body weight change of yearling local sheep fed with grass hay as a basal diet. The rationale for supplementation of alfalfa hay with urea molasses block 1) high-producing animals protein need cannot exclusively met from rumen microbial sources; 2) protein is the most expensive nutrient of ruminant animal feed. Twenty-four yearling intact male local sheep with a mean initial body weight of 23.9±1.9 (Mean ± SD) were used in a completely randomized block design. Treatments were 1% of live weight alfalfa hay (1A), 1.5% of live weight alfalfa hay (1.5A), 2.0% of live weight alfalfa hay (2A), and all three treatments offered with 100g/head/day of Urea-molasses-block (UMB). The control treatment was supplemented with concentrate mix at 2.0% of live weight (C). In addition, all treatments were fed grass hay ad libitum. The study period consisted of 84 days of feeding and 7 days of digestibility tests. Total dry matter intake was 1015.65, 925.41, 956.16, and 1078.13 (SE=± 19.4) for C, 1A, 1.5A, and 2A, respectively and 1A was lower than 2A and similar with 1.5A and C. Apparent crude protein digestibility and Crude protein intake of 2A was statistically similar to C. But, higher than 1A and 1.5A. Average daily gain was 109.33, 54.76, 55.36, and 63.1 (SE=± 6.13) g/day for C, 1A, 1.5A, and 2A, respectively and the values were the highest for C. The study showed that concentrate supplementation at 2% body weight resulted in greater body weight gain, crude protein intake and apparent crude protein digestibility. Additionally, the weight gain achieved at all grade levels of alfalfa plus in combination with the same amount of urea molasses block was commendable. But, considering the accessibility and cost of conventional concentrate mixture, 2% of Live Weight Alfalfa hay with 100g/head/day urea molasses block is recommended as an alternative supplement regime for better sheep performance.

Author Biography

Likawent Yeheyis, Amhara Agricultural Research Center, Bahirdar

Livestock Research Directorate

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Published

30.06.2023

How to Cite

Simone, S. K., Urge, M., & Yeheyis, L. (2023). Effect of Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa L.) Hay Supplementation and Urea Molasses Block on Feed Intake, Digestibility, and Body Weight Change of Yearling Local Sheep Fed Grass Hay as Basal Diet. Turkish Journal of Agriculture - Food Science and Technology, 11(6), 1067–1073. https://doi.org/10.24925/turjaf.v11i6.1067-1073.5989

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