In a completely randomized design, fifteen male Moghani sheep were used to determine the influence of supplementing processed broiler litter (BL) with different carbohydrate sources (i.e., corn, barley or molasses) on the nutrients digestibility, microbial protein (MP) production, ruminal parameters and blood metabolites.
The three dietary treatments, which were iso-caloric and iso-nitrogenous, were corn diet (alfalfa hay, wheat straw, processed BL, corn grain), barley diet (alfalfa hay, wheat straw, processed BL, barley grain) and molasses diet (alfalfa hay, wheat straw, processed BL, molasses).
The digestibility of dry matter, crude protein and neutral detergent fiber and MP in sheep fed molasses diet were higher (Po0.05) compared with those fed with diets containing corn or barley.
However, sheep fed molasses diet had lower (Po0.05) ruminal pH ammonia concentration than those fed with other diets.
Including various carbohydrate sources in the diets had no effect on volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentra- tions (P40.05), except for total VFA and molar proportion of butyrate which increased (Po0.05) by molasses feeding.
From blood metabolites only the blood urea-N concentration in sheep fed diet containing molasses was lower (Po0.05) than diet containing corn.
In conclusion, adding molasses to processed BL-containing diet led to improved nutrient digestibility and MP production in sheep.