Fiber availability is not always ensured in all year long grazing systems. In this context, low quality fiber feeds may be of relevance for bovine feeding. We propose, thus, to study the effect of adding 5% of urea (on a dry matter basis) on the chemical composition and nutritional value of Hedychium gardnerianum, Sheppard ex Ker-Gawl (ginger lily or Kahili ginger), a traditional fiber source used by Azorean farmers. Treatments were: green ginger lily as a control, addition of 5% urea on a DM basis to green ginger lily, with treatments lasting 0, 5, 10, 15 and 30 days and addition of 5% urea on a DM basis to previously dried ginger lily, at day 0. The treatment afforded a significant (P<0.05) increase in crude protein, while maintaining the neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) contents, and a variation in the acid detergent lignin (ADL) content. No significant improvement in in vitro dry matter digestibility. The treatment with urea of the green forage does not have the same effect as in other low quality fiber feeds, namely straw, since ginger lily has much higher a Crude Protein value than those other fibrous feeds.
Key words: Hedychium gardnerianum, in vitro digestibility, urea treatment, roughage.
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