Rice straw is underutilized as feed due to low voluntary intake and is susceptible to physical and microbial damage during storage. The present research aimed to find a practical bulk storage method to maintain the palatable component, moisture, nutrient content, and nutritional value of rice straw supplemented with 1% calcite-based mineral mixture, 0.6% molasses, and 0.05% urea. The supplemented straws were stored for 60 days in three bulk treatments: loose stacking, open-tied rolling, and airtight wrapping. The changes in physical appearances, botanical fraction, proximate, and fiber fraction content were determined. The nutritive values of stored rice straws were evaluated by feeding four male Indonesian-indigenous Pesisir cattle in a 4x4 Latin Square design. There were four experimental diets: basal diet + fresh rice straw (FRS), basal diet + stacking-supplemented rice straw (SSRS), basal diet +rolling-supplemented rice straw (RSRS), and basal diet + wrapping-supplemented rice straw (WSRS). The diets were fed. Parameters measured included: live weight gain (LWG), dry matter intake (DMI), feed conversion ratio (FCR), and nutrient digestibility. Storage of the supplemented straw by wrapping minimized the change of color, flavor, texture, microbial contamination, and moisture content but increased the crude protein and reduced the crude fiber content. Feeding the stored rice straw gave no significant effects on cattle performances. The results suggested that wrapping was the most appropriate method to maintain the moisture, and nutrient content of supplemented rice straw during storage.
Keywords | Calcined mineral, Physical appearance, Rice straw storage, Supplemented rice straw, Pesisir cattle