Urea treated cocoa pod as barley grain substitution in ruminant ration on microbial metabolism and feed degradation (rusitec study)
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Limitedsustainablesupply ofhighqualityfeedstuffisthemajorconstrain inruminantproduction in Indonesia. Aim 10 convert underutilized cocoa pod 10 quality feedstuff and lts inclusion in ruminant ration have been done. Cocoa pod was treated with 20 g urea per kg fresh material. The effects of replacing barley grain by urea treated cocoa pod on methane release, SCFA production as well as the amount and efficiency ofmicrobial-Nfixation in Rusitec have been studied. The experiment included six different rations (TI = 10 rid hay; T2 es TJ +4 g/d barley-soybean mixture (barley); T3 = Tl +3 g barley + J g cocoa pod); T4 = TI +2 g barley +2 g cocoa pod; T5 = TI + I g barley +3 g cocoa pod; T6 = TI +4 g cocoa pod) and three runs ofRusitec in a block random design. Substitution ofbarley by urea treated cocoa pod up 10 100% in hay based rations did not decrease the role of ration DM disappearance. and fiber degradation even tended to be increased. Microbial Nifixation decreased with the inclusion ofcocoa pod in the rations, but the efficiency ofmicrobial Nsfixation was increased in line with the cocoa pod level. Methane release per unit NDF disappearance decreased inversely 10 the cocoa pod level. Although urea treated cocoa pod cannot replace barley/soybean meal-mixture equivalentlyin feed rations for ruminants, in fact, the inclusion of urea treated cocoa pod 01 the expense of higher fermentoble feed components will reduce the fermentation intensity thereby yielding lower amounts of SCFA and microbial protein/or the host animal. Nevertheless, the urea treated cocoa pod can be used as a feedstuff for low performance ruminants as a substitute for barley/grain meal-mixture or as a supplement to hay based rations without reducing the efficiency of microbial synthesis. Moreover, no toxicity effects were observed with the inclusion of urea treated COcoa pod in the ration as to a dramatically disturbedfermentation or a too high concentration ofammonia.