Comparative evaluation of effective microbe– and urea molasses–treated finger millet (Eleusine coracana) straw on nutritive values and growth performance of Washera sheep in northwestern Ethiopia

Research paper by Degitu Alemu, Firew Tegegne, Yeshambel Mekuriaw

Indexed on: 22 Apr '20Published on: 02 Jul '19Published in: Tropical Animal Health and Production


An experiment was carried out to comparatively evaluate the effect of effective microbe (EM)– and urea molasses (UM)–treated finger millet straw (EMTFMS and UMTFMS, respectively) on nutrient utilization and growth performance of Washera lambs. Twenty yearling intact male Washera lambs with an initial body weight of 21.13 ± 1.77 kg (mean ± SE) were used for feeding and digestibility trial. These lambs were grouped into five blocks of four animals and randomly assigned to four dietary treatments. The four experimental feeds were untreated finger millet straw (control) + 150 g wheat bran (WB) (T1), untreated finger millet straw + 150 g WB + 150 g Noug seed cake (NSC) (T2), UMTFMS + 150 g WB + 150 g NSC (T3), and EMTFMS + 150 g WB + 150 g NSC (T4). The lambs were de-wormed and vaccinated against ecto- and endo-parasites. Data were analyzed using ANOVA procedure of SAS. Results showed that crude protein (CP) content of finger millet straw (FMS) was improved from 2.13 to 9.7% in UM treatment and 2.13 to 2.39% in EM treatments. Total DM, CP, and OM intake were higher in lambs assigned in UMTFMS (P < 0.01) and EMTFMS (P < 0.01) than the control groups and significantly highest (P < 0.01) in UMTFMS. A non-significant (P > 0.05) difference was observed between treatment technologies in all nutrient apparent digestibility and average daily weight gain. Therefore, it can be concluded that both treatments could serve as an alternative measure to improve nutritive value of finger millet straw, but due to environmental effect, EM treatment could be safe.