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Effects of different levels of urea supplementation on nutrient intake and growth performance in growing camels fed roughage based complete pellet diets

Ntiranyibagira Emmanuel;Niteen V.Patil;Shekbar R.Bhagwat;Abdul Lateef;Kang Xu;Hongnan Liu;Faculté d'Agronomie et de Bio-Ingénierie(FABI),Université du Burundi;National Research Centre on Camel, Indian Council for Agriculture Research;College of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry, Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University;Department of Physiology and Biochemistry College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University;Hunan Provincial Engineering Research Center for Healthy Livestock and Poultry Production,Key Laboratory of Agro-Ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture,Chinese Academy of Sciences;  
The utilization of urea in camels has beneficial and negative effects. The aims of this study were to investigate the effects of different levels of urea supplementation on nutrients intake, digestibility,growth performance, feed efficiency and economics in growing camels fed roughage based complete pellet diets. In the present study, eighteen growing camels with an average live body weight of306.17 ± 2.05 kg were randomly assigned in three treatments: T1 = roughage complete pellet diet without urea,T2 = T1 plus 1% urea,and T3 = T1 plus 2% urea. The results showed that the urea supplementation significantly affected average daily feed and nutrient intake of dry matter(DM), organic matter(OM), crude protein(CP), neutral detergent fiber(NDF), and acid detergent fiber(ADF)(P 0.05).On the contrary, the average daily intake of nitrogen free extract(NFE) and water were not influenced by increasing urea supplementation(P 0.05). Similarly, digestion coefficient of DM, CP, ether extract(EE),crude fiber(CF) and ADF was influenced by increasing urea level(P 0.05), while the digestion coefficient of OM, NFE and NDF was not affected by increasing urea level(P 0.05). The intake of digestive nutrients was similar among all treatment groups. Total body live weight gain and average daily gain were significantly higher in urea supplemented groups(P 0.05) than in the control group. The supplementation of urea at 1% in low quality roughage complete pellet diets significantly improved(P 0.05) the feed efficiency. In conclusion,these results indicated that the incorporation of urea at 1% in roughage based complete pellet diets could positively improve nutrients intake, digestibility, growth performance and feed conversion efficiency of growing camels.
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