Main Article Content
Four complete iso-nitrogenous rations containing crude protein 12.6% with 0 (T1 ), 5 (T2 ), 7.5 (T3 ) and 10 (T4 ) percent calcium soap of red palm oil (protected fat) were formulated and evaluated using in vitro and in sacco digestibility/ degradability techniques. The rations with 0 to 10 percent of calcium soap were further evaluated in vivo using four Murrah buffaloes (221.3±3.60 kg body weight) in a Latin Square Design (LSD) to find out optimum level of inclusion of protected fat in complete diets based on intake and nutrient utilization. The average in vitro DMD values were lowered (P GT 0.05) by 2.91, 4.84 and 7.04% due to incorporation of protected fat at 5, 7.5 and 10% level, respectively compared to control ration (T1 ). The dry matter (DM) intake (kg/d or g/kg w0.75) and the digestibility of proximate principles and cell wall constituents except ether extract (EE) were not significantly (P GT 0.05) affected by the level of protected fat in the diet. The EE digestibility was improved significantly (P LT 0.05) with dietary supplementation of protected fat. The DCP values of rations with varying levels of calcium soap of red palm oil were not different from each other. The TDN value of the rations with 5, 7.5 and 10% calcium soap was significantly (P GT 0.05) higher in buffaloes fed rations supplemented with protected fat. Based on results, it is concluded from the present study that, calcium soap prepared from red palm oil can be used as an energy supplement up to 10% level for Murrah buffalo animals without affecting DMI and nutrient utilization for improved production.