Rice straw, a by-product of the rice production is mainly used as a source of feed for ruminant livestock is the major forage in rice-producing areas in India. The disposal of the rice straw is a serious problem in areas where it is the major agricultural product. It is rich in polysaccharides and has a high lignin and silica content, limiting voluntary intake and reducing degradability by rumen microbes. By rice straw treatment, its quality and digestibility can be improved and enhanced the protein content. Several methods have been used to improve the utilization of rice straw by ruminants or supplemented by other ingredients to increase digestibility and nutrient value before it can be considered a suitable animal feed. In recent years, biological treatments have been investigated for improvement in nutritional value of rice straw. The use of ligninolytic fungi and their extracellular ligninolytic enzymes for treatment of rice straw results in degrading cellulose and hemicelluloses contents which improve its nutritional value. The use of fungi and enzyme treatments is expected to be a practical, cost-effective and environmental-friendly approach for enhancing the nutritive value and digestibility of rice straw. Therefore, the treated rice straw has a good potential as feed for ruminants.
Cattle, Feed, Nutritive value, Rice straw, Utilization
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