Replacement of Clover Hay by Biologically Treated Corn Stalks in Growing Sheep Rations

H.A.A. Omer, F.A.F. Ali, Sawsan M. Gad


Thirty-six male growing Rahmani lambs aged 6 months with an average weight 19.07 ± 0.21 kg were used to determine the effects of inclusion biologically treated corn stalks (BTCS) treated with Trichoderma ressi (T. ressi) on growth performance. Animals were divided into four equal groups and assigned for control ration contained 30% clover hay (CH) and another three experimental rations replaced CH in control ration (TMR1) with BTCT at 33%, 66% and complete replacement 100% of CH for (TMR2,TMR3 and TMR4), respectively. The results showed that treatment of BTCS decreased DM, OM, CF, EE contents, while CP and ash contents were increased in comparison with untreated corn stalks (UTCS). Also, it reduced all cell wall constituents (NDF, ADF, ADL, cellulose and hemicelluloses) compared to UTCS. biologically treated corn stalks containing diets significantly improved (P<0.05) all nutrient digestibility coefficients and cell wall constituent digestibilities compared to the control diet. Total digestible nutrient (TDN) was significantly improvement (P<0.05), while digestible crude protein (DCP) insignificantly (P>0.05) improved. Ruminal pH, ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) and total volatile fatty acids (TVFA's) concentrations were increased. Sampling time had no significant effect on ruminal pH while, it significantly (P<0.05) increased NH3-N and TVFA's concentrations at 3 hours post feeding compared to before feeding. There were significant (P<0.05) interaction between dietary treatments and sampling time (TxS) on ruminal pH, NH3-N and TVFA's concentrations. All blood plasma parameters were within the normal range. Blood plasma hemoglobin, glucose, total protein, albumin and albumin: globulin ratio were significantly increased (P<0.05). However, blood plasma urea, creatinine, triglycerides and cholesterol were significantly (P<0.05) decreased. Blood plasma GOT and GPT were insignificant (P>0.05) decreased. Final weight, total body weight gain, average daily gain (ADG) and relative gain were significantly (P<0.05) improved. ADG was improved by 10.53%, 18.42%, 27.89% for TMR2, TMR3 andTMR4, respectively compared to the control ration (TMR1). Daily feed intakes of DM, TDN, CP and DCP (g/h/day) were increased. Feed conversion (kg intake /kg gain) of DM, TDN, CP and DCP were significantly (P<0.05) improved. Feed cost (LE per kilogram gain) was improved by 9.59%, 14.82% and 22.46% for TMR2, TMR3 and TMR4, respectively compared to the control diet TMR1.

It could be concluded that biologically treated corn stalks can be successfully fed to lambs without any adverse effect on digestibility coefficients, ruminal fermentation, blood plasma constituents and performance. Also, BTCS can be used economically in formulation of sheep rations as a good alternative source of clover hay.

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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