Muhammad Haroon Muzaffar

Simplication Of Urea Treatment Method To Improve The Nutritve Value Of Cereal Starw - 2005

In Pakistan about 36 million tones of rice and wheat straw is produced annually which constitutes an important part of livestock feeding. Cereal straws have low protein contents and low digestibility. Hence, inspite of large volume they contribute little towards meeting the nutritional requirement of livestock. In the past, efforts have been made to improve the nutritive value of straws through chemical treatment which included use of NaOH, anhydrous ammonia and hydrogen peroxide with different levels of success. Lately urea has been used for increasing the digestibility and protein contents of straws. However, inspite of significant improvement in the nutritive value by this method the adoption of technology by the farmers always remained low. Reason for low adaptability may be due to relatively tedious technology and involvement of labour.

The conventional method of urea treatment of straw involves preparation of 4% solution of urea in water, sprinkling this solution on wheat straw layer by layer and simultaneously pressing the wheat straw to give it anaerobic condition and finally covering it with mud plaster or plastic sheet and incubation for a period of one month before its use. Limitation of this method is the involvement of labour especially when larger quantities of straw are to be treated.

To overcome this problem a new simple and easier method has been developed. This method involves weighing of urea @ 4% of straw to be treated, mixing it with the double the amount of manure or Acacia leaves, giving some moisture by adding water, putting this mixture in bag, keeping the bag on ground where straw is to be treated, piling the straw on bag, again moistening the straw with water (60% of straw) and incubating this material for one month under the cover of plastic sheet or mud plaster.

The method is slightly less efficient than the conventional one but very simple and involves very little labour as compared with conventional one. In the new method three steps including preparation of urea solution, sprinkling of solution on straw and pressing the straw during treatment process have been deleted which resulted in saving labour and time.


As a result of this study a new and easy method has been developed which is simpler and involves much lesser labour than the conventional one. In this method following three main steps have been excluded which are used in the conventional method.

a) Preparation of 4% urea solution.

b) Sprinkling and mixing of urea solution with wheat straw.

c) Pressing the wheat straw to give it anaerobic conditions.

Method is slightly less efficient than the conventional one and demands more research work. The new method may be named as "Bag Method".

Department of Animal Nutrition


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