FERMENTATION-BASEL, vol.8, no.12, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
This research was undertaken with the aim of determining the effect of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) treatment on the chemical composition, in vitro gas production, neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFD) and true dry matter digestibility (TDMD), dry matter intake (DMI), and relative feed value (RFV) of common reed (Phragmites australis) straw. Reed straw was treated with 0% (control), 1%, 2%, and 3% NaOH and stored in 1.5-L glass jars in triplicate for 21 days. NaOH treatment had a significant effect on the chemical composition, in vitro gas production, NDFD and TDMD, DMI, and RFV of the reed straw. While it decreased the cell wall content of the reed straw, it significantly increased the NDFD, TDMD, DMI, and RFV. The neutral detergent fiber content of the reed straw decreased with NaOH treatment in a dose-dependent manner and ranged from 56.03% to 65.05%, whereas the NDFD increased and ranged from 53.10% to 59.99%. Metabolizable energy, organic matter digestibility, and TDMD values were improved, ranging from 9.15 to 10.19 MJ/kg DM, 58.46% to 65.05%, and 55.29% to 62.33%, respectively. The estimated RFV and DMI also improved, ranging from 84.70% to 95.58% and from 1.87% to 2.14% of body weight, respectively. The most effective treatment dose of NaOH was 3%. Therefore, it can be suggested that NaOH treatment has the potential to improve the nutritive value of reed straw. However, before large applications, further in vivo investigations are required to determine the effects of NaOH treatment on the feed intake and production of ruminant animals.