*Animal Production Dept., Fac. of Agric., Al-Mansourah University, Egypt;
** Animal Production Dept., Fac. of Agric., Zagazig University, Egypt; and
***By-Products Utilization Res. Dept., Animal Production Res. Institute, Agric. Res. Center, Giza, Egypt.
Growth trial was conducted on twenty four Ossimi lambs, averaged 21.75 Kg live body weight and aged three months old. The lambs were assigned randomly to 6 similar groups of (4 lambs each) and housed in open pens. Lambs fed rations contained 60% of crude protein requirements according to NRC (1985) from concentrate feed mixture (CFM) plus untreated or fungal treated rice straw or corn stalks ad. libitum. The main results obtained confirmed that RS was more consumable and reflected lower levels of blood urea and creatinine and alkaline phosphates (ALP) activity. The fungus plus soybean meal treatment led to the highest final animal live body weight, growth rate, and feed consumption and the best feed conversion. It gave also the highest concentrations of blood total protein and globulin and the lowest activity of the enzymes AST, ALT and ALP. It was the best economically. Conclusively, the biological treatment with the white rot fungi, particularly with the fungus Pleurotus ostreatus of the field wastes (roughages) can improve their economical and save use to narrow the feeding gap as well as to protect the environment from their accumulation or burning them causing environmental pollution. So, fungal treatment of agricultural by-products can offer unconventional animal feed which is economical and environmentally friend without any negative effects on animal health.
Non traditional feed resources such as crop residues and Agro-industrial by-products must searched in order to decrease the relay on traditional resources, to fill the gap and to decrease feeding costs (Zaza, 2005). Sugar beet plulp is a by-product remains after extraction of sugar from sugar beet tubers (Talha et al., 2002). Approximately two thirds of the crop residues are burned or wasted, and hence lead to environmental pollution and consequently - health hazards. Utilization of such by-product can not only be used in favor of solving feed shortage problem but also as a method to control environmental pollution (Zaza, 2004). Feeding is the most important cost item for livestock production which represents about 70% of the total production costs (Borhami and Yacout, 2001). The major limitations of using these agricultural residues as feed are poor in nutrients such as protein content and vitamins and they are rich in fibers with low digestibility, or law palatability and high lignin contents. The degree of lignification is relatively more important in controlling hydrolysis rate in animal digestive tract (Fan et al., 1981). Therefore, there are many methods for improving the nutritive value of these by-products like as physical, chemical, physic-chemical and biological treatments. Biological treatment is used for increasing the nutritional value of many by-products, because they have significant concentrations of simple carbohydrates, such as mono-and disaccharides. For these reasons the microbial conversion of these wastes can improve their nutritional value and transforming them into animal feed with high quality (Villas-Boas et al., 2002). Many efforts have been employed to remove the lignin and/or to break up the linkages between lignin and carbohydrates and to increase their feed values by biological treatments (El-Ashry et al., 2001, 2002a & b, 2003, Mahrous, 2005; El-Shafie et al., 2007 and Abo-Eid, 2008). The main objective of this research was to study the effect of fungal treatments of rice straw and corn stalks on feed intake, growth and feeding efficiency of Ossimi lambs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Animals and feeds:
Twenty four Ossimi lambs averaged 21.91 Kg live body weight (L.B.W) and aged three months old were assigned randomly to 6 similar groups (4 lambs/ each) and housed in open pens. Lambs were fed rations contained 60% of crude protein requirements according to NRC (1985) from concentrate feed mixture (CFM) plus untreated or fungal treated rice straw or corn stalks ad. libitum. The growth trials lasted 120 days. Fresh drinking water was available at all times the day. The body weight was individually recorded biweekly and feeding requirement of experimental lambs were changed every 2 weeks according to the body weight change as reported in NRC (1985) for sheep requirements. The following rations were offered to the 6 different groups:
Groups 1 (RS)& 4 (CS): 60% of nutritional crude protein and energy requirements according to NRC (1985) from concentrate feed mixture (CFM) and untreated rice straw or corn stalks ad libitum, respectively.
Groups 2 (RS) & 5 (CS) (T1): 60% of nutritional requirements from CFM and fungal (Pleurotus ostreatus) treated rice straw or corn stalks ad libitum, respectively.
Groups (RS) 3 & 6 (CS) (T2): 60% of nutritional requirements from CFM and fungal ( Pleurotus ostreatus) treated rice straw or corn stalks + 2.5 soybean meal ad libitum, respectively.
Treated rice straw and corn stalks were offered to lambs for 2 weeks as an adaptation period before the beginning of the growth trial. Feed intake, daily weight gain, and feed conversion (feed/gain) were calculated.
Price of 1 ton of concentrate feed mixture (CFM) = 1500 LE. Price of 1 ton of untreated rice straw (roughage) = 100 LE. Price of 1 ton of rice straw treated with P. ostreatus = 200 LE (T1). Price of 1 ton of rice straw treated with P. ostreatus + 2.5 soybean = 250 LE (T2). Price of 1 ton of untreated corn stalks = 150 LE. Price of 1 ton of corn stalks T1 = 300 LE. Price of 1 ton of corn stalks T2 = 350 LE. Market price of 1 Kg live body weight in (2007) = 21 LE. Cost of roughage = Amount of rice straw or corn stalks (Kg) DM intake x price of rice straw or corn stalks. Cost of concentrate = Amount of concentrate dry matter intake (Kg) x price of conc. Average feed cost (LE/h/d) = Cost of roughage + cost of concentrate. Average revenue of daily gain (LE) = Price of 1 Kg live body weight x Average daily gain. Net feed revenue (LE) = Average revenue of daily gain - Average feed cost. Economic feed efficiency = Net feed revenue / average feed cost. The relative economic efficiency concerning the control group (untreated roughage) = 1
The obtained data were analyzed according to Statistical Analysis System user's Guide (SAS, 1998) for one way analysis of variance. Separation among means were carried out by using Duncan's (1955) multiple range test.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Significant differences were recorded between crop residual types in dry matter intake from roughages and total feed intake, in favor of RS. Also, significant differences were found among treatments in body weight and roughage and total feed intakes, in favor of T1 (Table 1). Obviously, all parameters were significantly increased by increasing the experimental intervals, from 10 - 12 to 26 - 28 weeks. The interaction effects among crop residual type, treatment, and time (experimental duration, i.e. intervals from 10 - 12 till 26 - 28 weeks), concerning body weight and feed intake of lambs fed CS and RS, respectively were significant.
Growth performance and feed utilization parameters by lambs as affected by the tested crop residual type and treatment are given in Table 2. There was no remarkable effect of type of crop residues on all parameters, except on roughage DM intake, which was higher (P £ 0.001) for RS than CS. Final body weight, total gain, daily body gain, roughage DM intake as well as daily feed intake were all significantly higher and feed conversion was significantly better by the fungal treatments comparing with the control (untreated) .
Blood biochemical parameters estimated at the end of the growth trial are shown in Table 3 as affected by either crop residual type or treatment comparing with the normal ranges. However, all values obtained from these tests are within the normal ranges. Wherever, crop residual type did not influence most of these parameters estimated, except concentration of urea and creatinine and activity of AST and alkaline phosphatase, which were higher (P £ 0.001) for CS than for RS. The treatments significantly elevated either of total protein, globulin, and urea concentrations but significantly lowered the activity of AST, ALT and alkaline phosphatase.
The economic efficiency was calculated as the result of dividing the body weight gain price by the feed cost. No significant difference was found between CS and RS concerning economic efficiency. Yet, both fungal treatments (T1 and T2) significantly raised the economic efficiency, particularly (T2) comparing with the control (untreated), since T1 and T2 were better than the control by 59 and 83%, respectively (Table 4). The interaction effect revealed the superiority of T2 and T1, respectively than the control in both crop residual types.
Although, all values obtained herein for blood biochemical parameters were within the normal ranges according to Kaneko (1989), biological treatment of agricultural by-products may cause no significant effect on blood parameters (Deraz and Ismail, 2001; Bassuny et al., 2005 and Abdelhamid et al., 2006 & 2007) and did not cause any abnormal conditions in liver and kidney functions (El-Ashry et al., 2001 and Abdelhamid et al., 2006). But it may also alter (positively or negatively) these metabolites (Abd El-Aziz and Ismail, 2001; El-Sayed et al., 2002; Bassuny et al., 2003 b Marghany et al., 2004 and Kholif et al., 2005).
Growth and feed conversion as well as economic efficiency were all significantly affected by type of roughage and treatment besides intervals of the study period. Also, Marghany et al. (2004) and Abdelhamid et al. (2007) gave better daily body weight gain and Marghany et al. (2004) and Mohamed (2005) reported better feed conversion by feeding the biological fermented roughages.
Biological treatment reduced the feed cost by 16.82% (Deraz, 1996) to about 36% (Belewu and Ademilola, 2002). However, biological treatments yielded the best economic efficiency (Marghany et al., 2004 and Hamza et al., 2006).
Table (1) Effect of crop residual type, treatment and times on average daily dry matter feed intake (g/head) fed by lambs (10 - 28 weeks) from the experimental diets (means + SE).
Click on the image to enlarge
C.S = Corn stalks R.S = Rice straw C = Untreated
T1 = Pleurotus ostreatus
T2 = Pleurotus ostreatus + 2.5% soybean meal.
A, B, C, E, F and G: Means in the same row with different superscripts are significantly (P £ 0.05) different.
Table (2) Effect of crop residual type and treatment fed to lambs on growth performance, feed intake and feed conversion (means + SE).
A and B: Means in the same row with different superscripts are significantly (P £ 0.001).
Table (3) Effect of crop residual type and treatment on some blood constituents (regardless to the other variable) at the end of the growth trial on lambs (means + SE).
A, B and C: Means in the same row with different superscripts are significantly (P £ 0.01) different.
(4) Effect of crop residual type and treatment on economical evaluation of the experimental diets for the growth of lambs (means + SE).
A, B and C: Means in the same row with different superscripts are significantly (P £ 0.01) different
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