Microbial Evaluation of Fodder Tree Leaves as Ruminant Feed

  • Odenyo, A.A. (International Livestock Research Institute) ;
  • Osuji, P.O. (International Livestock Research Institute) ;
  • Negassa, D. (International Livestock Research Institute)
  • Received : 1998.04.04
  • Accepted : 1998.07.18
  • Published : 1999.08.01


Fermentation of legume fodder tree leaves by rumen microorganisms was evaluated. The substrates were sun-dried, ground leaves. Gas and volatile fatty acid (VFAs) production were estimated. Using gas production as an index of fermentation at 12 h, the leaves tested ranked as follows; Chamaecytisus palmensis>Gliricidia sepium>Sebania sesban>Tephrosia bracteolate>Leucaena pallida>Vernonia amygdalina>Acacia sieberiana>Sesbania goetzei>Acacia angustissima. Using VFA production, the ranking was a follows; G. sepium>S. sesban>S. goetzei>L. pallida>C. palmensis/V. amygdalina>T. bracteolate> A. sieberiana>A. angustissima. Absolute gas or VFA production rates, were also used to rank the leaves. Extracts (70% acetone) of A. angustissima inhibited the growth of Ruminococcus albus 8, R. flavefaciens FD-1, Prevotella ruminicola D3ID and Streptococcus bovis JBI while the trowth of Selenomonas ruminantium D was depressed when 0.6 ml exracts were added. C. palmensis water extracts enhanced cellulose hydrolysis by R. flavefaciens FD-1. All extracts reduced celluloysis by R. albus 8. R. flavefaciens FD-1 hydrolyzed more (p<0.001) cellulose than R. albus 8.

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