Feeding Value of Maize Stover Treated with Urea or Urea Molasses for Hararghe Highland Sheep

Fitsum Abera1, *, Mengistu Urge1, Getachew Animut2
1 Haramaya University, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, School of Animal and Range Science, Haramaya, Ethiopia
2 Agriculture Transformation Agency, P.O. Box 708, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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© 2018 Abera et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Haramaya University, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, School of Animal and Range Science, Haramaya, P.O.BOX. 138, Diredawa, Ethiopia; Fax: 025 5530102; Tel: 0912027497; E-mail:



The present trial was designed to investigate the effect of urea or urea molasses treatment of maize stover (MS) on feed intake, nutrient digestibility and profitability of sheep. Twenty yearling male lambs of Hararghe Highland breed at the initial body weight of 15.4 ± 0.57 (mean ± SD) kg.


The experimental animals were sorted into five blocks based on the initial weight and assigned randomly to four treatments; namely, untreated maize stover ad libitum (T1); urea treated maize stover (UTMS) ad libitum (T2); urea-molasses treated maize stover (UMTMS) ad libitum (T3); all of which were supplemented with 300g concentrate mix of wheat bran (WB) and noug seed cake (NSC) at the ratio of 2:1 and only urea-molasses treated maize stover ad libitum (T4). Feeding trial was carried out for ninety days and digestibility trial for seven days following 3 days of adaptation to the metabolic cage and carrying the fecal collection bag.


The result depicted that the content of crude protein (CP) is 5.9, 8, 10, 30.1, and 17.2%, for MS, UTMS, UMTMS, NSC and WB respectively. Total DM intake was higher for T2 (700.7 g/day) and T3 (770.9 g/day) than sheep fed T1 (538.28 g/day) and T4 (481.4 g/day). Apparent DM and CP digestibility were higher for T2 and T3 than T1 and T4. Hence, urea or urea-molasses treated maize stover with concentrate supplement had a good impact on feed intake and digestibility. Conversely, urea-molasses treated maize stover alone failed to improve the feeding value of MS. Therefore, MS treatment with urea and urea-molasses with energy and protein source of supplement has a desirable alternative in enhancing the utilization of maize stover.

Keywords: Urea, Urea molasses, Maize stover, (UTMS), (UMTMS), Wheat bran.