Utilization of Alkali Treated Sorghum Stover Supplemented with Poultry Litter for Growing Heifers in the North East Region of Nigeria
This study was carried out to study the effect of alkali
treatment of sorghum stover supplemented with or without poultry litter
on feed and live body weight change of growing cattle. Twelve Heifers
of mixed breed aged between 16 to 22 months with a mean live weight of
110 ± 8.7 kg were randomly allotted to groups (three animals each).
Alkali treated Sorghum Stover with no supplementation (T1),
Sorghum Stover with 0.5 kg day-1 poultry Litter (T2)
and Untreated stover, with no supplementation (T3). Treating
Stover with alkali or Alkali treated supplementation with Poultry Litter
were significantly increase Dry Matter Intake (DMI) being 2.00, 2.56 and
1.56 kg for TSS1, TSS2 and TSS3, respectively.
Dry matter digestibility of Alkali treated Stover was significantly higher
than the untreated Stover. Supplementation with poultry litter significantly
increased Dry matter digestibility compared with unsupplemented, from
the result, it can be deduced that daily live body weight with poultry
litter can improve the daily live weight gain of growing cattle.
Borno State falls within the North Eastern Region of Nigeria. The rainy
season starts in late May and ends in early October. This region is the
largest pastoral zone in Nigeria (Rims, 1992). The people depends crop
and livestock farming for their means of livelihood.
During dry season, the feed resources available for ruminant livestock
feeding in this area are mainly crop residue. It is estimated that over
40% of the dry season grazing time is spent by cattle on crop residues
Cereals such as sorghum and maize are the most important cereal crop
cultivated in this region. Abundant straws and stovers are generated after
the grain harvest. Protein is the most limiting nutrient in crop residues
for feeding ruminant livestock during the long dry season.
Treating crop residue with chemicals like alkali (Buckman, 1919) has
been shown to be beneficial. Alkali is used for treatment of crop residue.
As a non protein-nitrogen compound, it can be used by rumen microbes for
protein synthesis (Loosi and McDonald, 1986). It was suggested that poultry
litter can be included up to 15% in the diets of ruminants for both maintenance
and production without any deleterious effects (Akangbe and Adeleye, 2002).
Therefore, this study is design to investigate the effect of treating
sorghum stover with alkali and supplementing with poultry litter.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Nine growing cattle of cross breed aged between 16 to 22 months with
a mean live weight of 110 ± 8.7 kg were used in this study. The
experiment was carried out in the Department of Animal Science, Livestock
Teaching and Research Farm. They were dewormed with Banminth F dewormer
and confined to individual pens.
A complete randomized block design was used to determine the effect of
supplement on the utilization of alkali treated or untreated Stover.
The animals were randomly allotted to three treatment groups. The treatment
groups were (T1) treated Sorghum Stover with no supplementation,
(T2) treated sorghum stover 0.5 kg poultry litter and (T3)
untreated sorghum stover with no poultry litter. The poultry litter was
sun dried to minimize the effect of harmful agents. Five percent alkali
solution (50 g of alkali dissolved in one litter of water) was sprayed
on 1 kg of Stover using a watering cane and then allowed to dry for twenty
four hours before feeding. The supplement was offered once daily at 7.00
am after consumption, the basal diet was offered. At 3.00 pm, the basal
diet was offered again.
Daily feed intake of supplement and basal diet were recorded. Feed refusal
was collected and weighed daily. Live weight gain was determined by weighing
the animal at weekly intervals.
The experimental feeds were analysed for dry matter, crude protein,
crude fibre and ash according to AOAC (2000) methods.
All the data collected were analysed using completely randomized block
design. Duncan`s multiple ranges that was used to compare means test were
significantly different (Gomez and Gomez, 1987)
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Chemical Composition of the Feeds
The chemical composition of the poultry litter used in this study
had a crude protein content of 26.3% higher than that of reported by Odhuba
et al. (1986) but within the range reported by Bhattcharger and
Fontenot (1966). The variation of the crude protein contents may be attributed
to the composition feeds of the birds consumed and the age of the litter.
The crude protein content of the sorghum stover was higher than what is
reported by Oji and Mowat (1986) this may be due to the variety of the
Sorghum used, stage of harvest and fertilization, these have been shown
to have effect on the nutritive value of the sorghum stover (Table
The result of the study (Table 2) showed animals on
untreated Sorghum Stover group consumed low Stover than the treated groups.
The result agreed with the findings of Reid and Kloptestein (1983)
|| Chemical composition of the experimental feeds
|| Treatment with alkali and level of supplementation
with poultry litter on
|SED = Standard error of difference between two means;
abc = Means within same raw having different superscript differs significantly;
* = Significant (p<0.05); ** = Significant (p<0.001); NS = Non
which showed that feeds with low crude protein content are seldom consumed
by animals, as there is an inverse relationship between dry matter intake
and the crude fibre. The stover used is of low crude protein content as
this may be the reason of low dry matter intake recorded for treatment
groups treating sorghum with alkali increased dry matter intake. This
is in line with the findings of Iyayi (1991).
Treating the stover with alkali resulted in an increased crude protein
content of the sorghum stover. The increase in the crude protein content
was 4 times higher than the untreated. This is consistent with the findings
of Doyle et al. (1986) for sorghum stover. Ensiling crop
residue with alkali helps in the dissolution of acid and neural detergent
fibre content of the crop residue. Differences in chemical composition
may be due to the variety and the composition if the maize stove. Supplement
with poultry litter had the benefit of supplying the much-needed ammonia
in the rumen through the breaking of the uric acid contained in it. The
poultry litter in alkali treated group increases the dry matter intake;
this is due to increase in the protein intake which stimulates the rumen
microbes. The rumen microbes that digest fibrous materials require nutrients
especially ammonia which can be supplied through alkali supplemented feeding.
Supplementation with poultry litter increased the digestibility of alkali
treated and untreated stover. The low level, in the live weight of animals
offered untreated and unsupplemented Stover treated group, was due to
the low protein intake when compared with the other treated groups, hence
resulting in low dry matter intake and low dry matter digestibility of
the stover, this is consistent with, Walker (1994) who reported that,
animals offered crop residue as their sole diet show low dry matter intake
and decline in live weight. Treating the stover alone with alkali was
able to maintain Live weight of the animals in that treatment group. Leng
et al. (1977) reported in their study that supply of alkali continuously
to animals on basal diet based on poor quality crop residue has effect
on increasing intake of the feed but seldom led to growth above maintenance.
Also treatment of low quality forages has shown to maintain acceptable
level of performance of cows (Farmer et al., 2002; Bohnert et
al., 2002b). Poultry litter has been shown to stimulate growth rate
in young cattle when added to feed apparently adequate in fermentable
nitrogen (Mayreles and Preston, 1992). Poultry litter supplies minerals,
ammonia, co-factors and vitamins required by the rumen microbes and increasing
the levels of supplementation in the animal`s rations also increased rate
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
From this study, it can be deduced that, feeding of stover alone cannot
maintain ruminant livestock. Animals on treatment groups offered untreated
stover showed low dry matter intake and dry matter digestibility as a
result the animals lost weight. Treatment of stover with alkali at 5%
increased feed intake and digestibility of stover`s; the animals in this
treatment group were able to maintain their body weight. Supplementation
with poultry litter in alkali treated groups resulted in an increase in
dry matter intake and dry matter digestibility of the stover and improvement
of live weight change. Finally, feeding of poultry litter as a supplement
to growing cattle consuming stover can be more economical due to low cost
of the poultry litter.
1: Akangbe, F.G. and I.O.A. Adeleye, 2002. Effects of supplementation of poultry droppings meal on live weight changes of West African dwarf sheep. In: Proceeding of the 7th Annual Conference of Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN) September, 16-19th 2002, Abeokuta, Nigeria.
2: AOAC., 2000. Official Methods of Analysis. 17th Edn., Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Arlington, VA., USA.
3: Bhattcharger, A.N. and J.A. Fontenot, 1966. Protein and energy value of peanut hull and woodshaving poultry litter. J. Anim. Sci., 25: 367-371.
Direct Link |
4: Bohnert, D.W., C.S. Schaur and T. DelCurio, 2002. Influence of rumen protein degradability and supplementation frequency on performance and nitrogen use in rumen consuming low quality forage. Cow performance and efficiency of nitrogen use in wethers. J. Anim. Sci., 80: 1629-1637.
Direct Link |
5: Buckman, E., 1919. Preussinche Akademic der wissens-chaften, Berin. Stizungscheriche. 175 (cited by Homb (1984).
6: Doyle, P.T., G.R. Reach and A.R. Egan, 1986. Potentials of Cereal Straw in Tropical and Temperate Region. In: Rice Straw and Related Feeds in Ruminants Ration, Ibrahim, M.N.N. and J.B. Shiese (Eds.). Proceeding of an International Workshop Held in Kandy Sri-lanka, 24th-28th March, 1986, No. 2, pp: 63-78.
7: Farmer, C.G., R.C. Cockran and T.A. Wickersham, 2002. Influence of different levels of urea supplementation when beef cows grazing winter pasture are supplemented at different frequencies during the prepartum period. Proc. West, sec. Am. Soc. Anim. Sci., 53: 297-300.
Direct Link |
8: Gomez, K.A. and A.A. Gomez, 1987. Statistical Procedure for Agricultural Research. 1st Edn., John Willey and Sons, New York.
9: Iyayi, E.A., 1991. Unconventional feeding stuff for Livestock Production. Paper Presentation at the 8th Annual Institute of Livestock Development, New Windsor Service Centre, Maryland, USA., pp: 11-16.
10: Leng, R.A., T.J. Thompson and J.V. Nolan, 1977. Non protein-nitrogen and by-pass protein in ruminant diets. Am. Rev., 33: 1-20.
11: Loosi, J.K. and I.W. McDonald, 1986. Non-Protein-Nitrogen in the nutrition of ruminants F.A.O. Agricultural Series No. 75 Rome Italy.
12: Mayreles, L. and T.R. Preston, 1982. The role of poultry litter lin molasses urea diet for the fattening of cattle. Trop. Anim. Prod., 7: 120-140.
13: Odhuba, S.K., J.P. Madadi and I.A. Sanda, 1986. Utilization of Broiler Litter as a Source of Nitrogen in Semi-intensive Feed Lot Rations. In: Overcoming Constraints to the Efficient Utilization of Agricultural by Products as Animals Feed. Said, A.N. and Dzowale (Eds.). Proc. of the 4th Annual Workshop held at the Institute of Animal Research, Mankon Station, Bamenda, Cameroun, 20-27th Octob
14: Oji, U.J. and D.N. Mowat, 1986. Nutritive value of thermo-ammoniated and steam treated maize Stover, Intake, digestibility and nitrogen retention. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 4: 117-186.
15: Powel, J.M., 1983. Research on Crop Livestock Interaction in the Sub-humid Zones of Nigeria. Seminar on collaborative research in Agriculture (ACIAR) Zaria, Nigeria.
16: Reid, R.L. and T.J. Kloptestein, 1983. Forage and crop residues: Quality evaluation and system of utilization. J. Anim. Sci., 57: 534-562.
Direct Link |
17: Rims, 1992. Nigerian Livestock resources report. Resource Inventory and Management for Federal Department of Livestock and Pest Control Services, Abuja, Nigeria, Vol. (2).
18: Walker, H.G., 1994. Physical Treatment. In: Straw and Other Fibres by Products as Feed, Sundstol, F. and E. Owen (Eds.). Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp: 80-90.