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Effects of the inclusion of Moringa oleifera seed on rumen fermentation and methane production in a beef cattle diet using the rumen simulation technique (Rusitec)

  • T. O. J. D’A. Lins (a1) (a2), S. A. Terry (a3), R. R. Silva (a2), L. G. R. Pereira (a4), L. J. Jancewicz (a1), M. L. He (a1), Y. Wang (a1), T. A. McAllister (a1) and A. V. Chaves (a3)...

Abstract

Moringa oleifera seeds are currently being used as a livestock feed across tropical regions of the world due to its availability and palatability. However, limited knowledge exists on the effects of the raw seeds on ruminant metabolism. As such, the rumen stimulation technique was used to evaluate the effects of substituting increasing concentrations of ground Moringa seeds (0, 100, 200 and 400 g/kg concentrate dry matter (DM)) in the diet on rumen fermentation and methane production. Two identical, Rusitec apparatuses, each with eight fermenters were used with the first 8 days used for adaptation and days 9 to 16 used for measurements. Fermenters were fed a total mixed ration with Urochloa brizantha as the forage. Disappearance of DM, CP, NDF and ADF linearly decreased (P<0.01) with increasing concentrations of Moringa seeds in the diet. Total volatile fatty acid production and the acetate to propionate ratio were also linearly decreased (P<0.01). However, only the 400 g/kg (concentrate DM basis) treatment differed (P<0.01) from the control. Methane production (%), total microbial incorporation of 15N and total production of microbial N linearly decreased (P<0.01) as the inclusion of Moringa seeds increased. Though the inclusion of Moringa seeds in the diet decreased CH4 production, this arose from an unfavourable decrease in diet digestibility and rumen fermentation parameters.

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