Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 1123–1128 | Cite as

Effect of treating sugarcane bagasse with urea and calcium hydroxide on feed intake, digestibility, and rumen fermentation in beef cattle

  • Nirawan GununEmail author
  • Metha Wanapat
  • Pongsatorn Gunun
  • Anusorn Cherdthong
  • Pichad Khejornsart
  • Sungchhang Kang
Regular Articles


Four beef cattle with initial body weight of 283 ± 14 kg were randomly allocated according to a 4 × 4 Latin square design to study on the effect of feeding sugarcane bagasse (SB) treated with urea and/or calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) on feed intake, digestibility, and rumen fermentation. The treatments were as follows: rice straw (RS), untreated SB (SB), 4 % urea-treated SB (SBU), and 2 % urea + 2 % Ca(OH)2-treated SB (SBUC), respectively. The results revealed that cattle fed with SBU and SBUC had higher feed intake and apparent digestibility. Ammonia nitrogen and blood urea nitrogen were increased in cattle fed with SB as roughage source (P < 0.05). Feeding SBU and SBUC to cattle resulted in higher propionic acid and lower acetic acid, acetic to propionic ratio, and methane production (P < 0.05). Moreover, the number of fungi was increased in SBU- and SBUC-fed groups while protozoa population was unchanged. This study concluded that the nutritive value of SB was improved by urea and/or Ca(OH)2 treatment, and feeding treated SB could increase feed intake, digestibility, and rumen fermentation. This study suggested that SB treated with 2 % urea + 2 % Ca(OH)2 could be used as an alternative roughage source for ruminant feeding.


Sugarcane bagasse Urea Calcium hydroxide Digestibility Rumen fermentation 



The authors would like to express their sincere thanks to the Thailand Research Fund (TRF) and the research and development institute, Udon Thani Rajabhat University through the Research Grant for New Scholar (contract no. TRG5780118) for their financial support. Special thank to the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Natural Resources, Rajamangala University of Technology-Isan, Sakon Nakhon Campus for providing experimental animals and laboratory. Thank to Rerm Udom sugar factory CO., LTD. for providing sugarcane bagasse. The cooperation of Kannika Opatawong, Aleeya Promnoy, and Kriangkai Pimdawhom who participated in this study and the Increase Production Efficiency and Meat Quality of Native Beef and Buffalo Research Group, Khon Kaen University was highly appreciated.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nirawan Gunun
    • 1
    Email author
  • Metha Wanapat
    • 2
  • Pongsatorn Gunun
    • 3
  • Anusorn Cherdthong
    • 2
  • Pichad Khejornsart
    • 4
  • Sungchhang Kang
    • 5
  1. 1.Program in Animal Production Technology, Faculty of TechnologyUdon Thani Rajabhat UniversityUdon ThaniThailand
  2. 2.Department of Animal Science, Faculty of AgricultureTropical Feed Resources Research and Development Center (TROFREC), Khon Kaen UniversityKhon KaenThailand
  3. 3.Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Natural ResourcesRajamangala University of Technology-IsanSakon NakhonThailand
  4. 4.Agro-Bioresources, Faculty of Natural Resources and AgroIndustryKasetsart UniversitySakon NakhonThailand
  5. 5.Agricultural Unit, Department of EducationNational Institute of EducationPhnom PenhCambodia

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