Year: 2015, Issue: December

Effect of supplementing Azolla microphylla on nutrient intake and digestibility in Jersey crossbred heifers.
Arbind Khare, A. Chatterjee, C. Bhakat, M. Mandal, S. K. Das and M. K. Ghosh
Azolla, Chemical composition, Intake, Nutrient digestibility, Crossbred heifers.
In the present investigation it is proposed to study the effect of feeding fresh A.microphylla on intake and digestibility of nutrients in crossbred growing female calves while supplemented replacing equivalent amount of concentrate mixture. The experiments were conducted in 12 crossbred growing female calves distributed in two groups. The crude protein (CP) content of A.microphylla ranged from 21.65- 27.86 with a mean value of 24.93�0.93. The chemical composition of A.microphylla in terms of OM%, EE%, CF%, TA%, AIA% and NFE% were 77.03� 0.79, 3.33�0.13, 9.86�0.25, 22.98�0.79, 3.94�0.49 and 39.96�1.56, respectively on DM basis. During digestibility trial there was no significant difference in DM, CP and TDN intake indicating Azolla supplementation had no adverse effect on voluntary feed intake. The DM digestibility was 61.25�2.23 and 62.34�3.88 percent, OM digestibility was 65.60�1.81 and 66.76�2.00 percent for the control and treatment group respectively without any statistically significant difference. Azolla supplementation had no adverse effect on the digestibility of nutrients as well, rather the digestibility of EE and CF were significantly enhanced. In the present study the data on chemical composition and digestibility of nutrients indicates that A.microphylla an be a very promising alternative feed resource for ruminants.

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