The Effects of Additives in Napier Grass Silages on Chemical Composition, Feed Intake, Nutrient Digestibility and Rumen Fermentation

  • Bureenok, Smerjai (Faculty of Natural Resources, Rajamangala University of Technology-Isan, Sakon Nakhon Campus) ;
  • Yuangklang, Chalermpon (Faculty of Natural Resources, Rajamangala University of Technology-Isan, Sakon Nakhon Campus) ;
  • Vasupen, Kraisit (Faculty of Natural Resources, Rajamangala University of Technology-Isan, Sakon Nakhon Campus) ;
  • Schonewille, J. Thomas (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Farm Animal Health, Division Nutrition, Utrecht University) ;
  • Kawamoto, Yasuhiro (Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus)
  • Received : 2012.02.10
  • Accepted : 2012.06.04
  • Published : 2012.09.01


The effect of silage additives on ensiling characteristics and nutritive value of Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) silages was studied. Napier grass silages were made with no additive, fermented juice of epiphytic lactic acid bacteria (FJLB), molasses or cassava meal. The ensiling characteristics were determined by ensiling Napier grass silages in airtight plastic pouches for 2, 4, 7, 14, 21 and 45 d. The effect of Napier grass silages treated with these additives on voluntary feed intake, digestibility, rumen fermentation and microbial rumen fermentation was determined in 4 fistulated cows using $4{\times}4$ Latin square design. The pH value of the treated silages rapidly decreased, and reached to the lowest value within 7 d of the start of fermentation, as compared to the control. Lactic acid content of silages treated with FJLB was stable at 14 d of fermentation and constant until 45 d of ensiling. At 45 d of ensiling, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) of silage treated with cassava meal were significantly lower (p<0.05) than the others. In the feeding trial, the intake of silage increased (p<0.05) in the cow fed with the treated silage. Among the treatments, dry matter intake was the lowest in the silage treated with cassava meal. The organic matter, crude protein and NDF digestibility of the silage treated with molasses was higher than the silage without additive and the silage treated with FJLB. The rumen parameters: ruminal pH, ammonia-nitrogen ($NH_3$-N), volatile fatty acid (VFA), blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and bacterial populations were not significantly different among the treatments. In conclusion, these studies confirmed that the applying of molasses improved fermentative quality, feed intake and digestibility of Napier grass.


Supported by : National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT)


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