Nguyen Van Thu and Le Van Phong *

* Correspondence: Le Van Phong (email:

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Four local male cattle with average live weight of 290 kg were arranged in a Latin-square design with four treatments, which included fresh water hyacinth (WH) replacing rice straw at levels of 0, 25, 50 and 75% in the diets [dry matter (DM) basis]. The aim of this study was to find out the optimum level of fresh WH in cattle diet based on nutrient digestibility, rumen parameters, nitrogen retention and daily weight gain. The multi-nutrient cake containing 323 g CP/kg DM was supplemented in all the diets to adjust the daily crude protein intake to 210 g/100 kg body weight. The results of the study showed that daily DM, organic matter and metabolizable energy intakes were significantly different (P<0.05) among the diets. While rumen pH, N-NH­3 and volatile fatty acid concentration were not significantly different (P>0.05) among the treatments. The daily nitrogen retention and weight gain were 0.482, 0.502, 0.510 and 0.480 g/kgW0.75 and 250, 334, 448 and 403 g for the WH25, WH50, WH75 and WH100 treatments, respectively. The results indicated that feeding the fresh WH to replace rice straw up to 75% in local cattle diet could improve metabolizable energy intake, nutrient digestibility and growth performance. The optimum level of WH replacement to rice straw in the diet was 50%.
Keywords: Intake, growth rate, nitrogen retention, nutrient digestion, rumen parameter

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