EVALUATION OF FEEDING HYDROPONICS BARLEY ON DIGESTIBILITY AND RUMEN FERMENTATIONS IN AWASSI LAMBS
Fifteen Awassi male lambs were randomly distributed to five groups and fed ad libitum roughages: hydroponics barley and/or green alfalfa with different levels, 0: 100, 25: 75, 50: 50, 75: 25 and 100: 0% as roughage experimental diets T1, T2, T3, T4, T5 to study in-vitro and apparent digestibility, rumen fermentations and total rumen bacteria using completely randomized design. Initial weight of replicates were 21.73 kg ± 4.17 kg and 3-4 months old. Concentrate fed at 3% of live body weight based on dry matter basis. Results showed: No differences for in-vitro digestibility, while there were significant increases (p<0.05) for total digestible nutrients (TDN) 88.24%, apparent digestibility for dry matter (DM) 87.13%, organic matter (OM) 87.94%, crude protein (CP) 95.87%, nitrogen free extract (NFE) 87.88% and metabolisable energy (Me) 88.78% with feeding 100% hydroponic barley (T5). Rumen fermentations: pH, Ammonia and volatile fatty acids didn't differ between treatments in the end of experiment. Total count of rumen bacteria did not differ in the beginning and middle of experiment, while, significant decreased in treatments T4 and T5 2.600 and 1.733 cfu\ ml × 107 in contrast with T1 (control) 4.566 cfu\ ml × 107 because of increasing dilution and flow rate of rumen liquor. In conclusion, there is a possibility using hydroponic fodder technology in arid and semi-arid areas, where green feeds are difficult to provide.