Effect of inclusion of different levels of Leucaena silage on rumen microbial population and microbial protein synthesis in dairy steers fed on rice straw

  • Nguyen, Thien Truong Giang (Tropical Feed Resources Research and Development Center (TROFREC), Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Wanapat, Metha (Tropical Feed Resources Research and Development Center (TROFREC), Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Phesatcha, Kampanat (Tropical Feed Resources Research and Development Center (TROFREC), Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Kang, Sungchhang (Agricultural Unit, Department of Education, National Institute of Education)
  • Received : 2015.11.20
  • Accepted : 2016.04.10
  • Published : 2017.02.01


Objective: Leucaena leucocephala (Leucaena) is a perennial tropical legume that can be directly grazed or harvested and offered to ruminants as hay, silage, or fresh. However, Leucaena contain phenolic compounds, which are considered anti-nutritional factors as these may reduce intake, digestibility and thus animal performance. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to determine effects of Leucaena silage (LS) feeding levels on rumen microbial populations, N-balance and microbial protein synthesis in dairy steers. Methods: Four, rumen fistulated dairy steers with initial weight of $167{\pm}12kg$ were randomly assigned to receive dietary treatments according to a $4{\times}4$ Latin square design. Treatments were as followings: T1 = untreated rice straw (RS; Control), T2 = 70% RS+30% LS, T3 = 40% RS+60% LS, and T4 = 100% LS. Dairy steers were fed rice straw and LS ad libitum and supplemented with concentrate at 0.2% of body weight/d. Results: Results revealed that the rumen microbial population, especially cellulolytic, proteolytic bacteria and fungal zoospores were enhanced in steers that received 60% of LS (p<0.05), whereas the amylolytic bacteria population was not affected by treatments (p>0.05). Protozoal population was linearly decreased with increasing level of LS (p<0.05). Moreover, N-balance and microbial protein synthesis were enhanced by LS feeding (p<0.05) and were the highest in 60% LS group. Conclusion: Based on this study, it could be concluded that replacement of RS with 60% LS significantly improved microbial population and microbial protein synthesis in diary steers.


Dairy Steers;Leucaena Silage;Microbial Population;Microbial Protein Synthesis;Rice Straw


Supported by : Khon Kaen university, Vietnam International Education Department


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