Animal production in the Azores is conditioned by the cycles of grass production. In a situation when lack of fiber for animal feed occurs, low quality fibrous foods become relevant. For these reasons, Hedychium gardnerianum (ginger lily), a well-known and traditional source of fiber used by Azorean farmers have been studied. The plant material was subjected to treatments with 5% dry matter (DM) with urea, 3% DM with NaOH, and the addition of a nitrogen source (soybean meal) to achieve a content of 18% crude protein in DM, in order to study its nutritional value. The treatment with urea and the addition of a nitrogen source showed a significant (P<0.05) increase in crude protein (CP), while maintaining the neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) contents, and a variation in the acid detergent lignin (ADL) content. All treatments had a significant effect (P<0.05) on ginger lily DM digestibility. It can be concluded that all the treatments performed had a significant effect on the nutritional value of ginger lily.
Key words: Hedychium gardnerianum, NaOH treatment, urea treatment, roughage.
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