Studies on the alimentary tract of the merino sheep in South Africa. XXIII. The effect of supplementing poor quality grass hay with molasses and nitrogenous salts

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 2
  • Abstract:

    1. In a series of three experiments it has been shown that the supplementation of poor quality grass hay with either urea or sodium nitrate, in conjunction with molasses resulted in increased appetite and improved maintenance of body weight. 2. These beneficial effects were not only due to the extra nutriments derived from the supplements but also to an acceleration of cellulose digestion allowing of a greater utilisation of the basic hay. 3. Although the rate of cellulose digestion was accelerated the percentage of cellulose digested was not influenced. 4. The feeding of 200 gm. of lucerne hay per day also increased the rate of cellulose digestion resulting in an increased consumption of grass hay. 5. Indications that the presence of ammonia radicle is deleterious to the activity of the ruminal flora will have to be studied further. The possibility of using nitrates to supplement the rations of ruminants will also have to be explored.