Document Type : Scientific - Research Articles
Nutritive value of winterfat forage (Eurotia ceratoides) was evaluated through chemical composition, in situ degradability and in vitro gas production techniques using three permanently fistulated adult Baluchi sheep. The CP, NDF, ADF, Ash, EE and NFC contents of winterfat forage was 19.4, 54.5, 41.6, 9.0, 1.4 and 15.7%, respectively. The leaves had highest CP (27.9%DM) and lowest NDF (40.7%DM) levels among parts of the plant. Degradability characteristics of dry matter were measured at 0, 6, 12, 24, 48 and 96 hour incubation. The obtained results showed that DM fraction a (rapidly degradable), b (slowly degradable) and c (rate constant degradable) were 23.2, 30.5 and 8.0%, respectively. The rate of gas production of dry matter was measured at 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72 and 96 hour after incubation. The obtained result showed that cumulative gas production sequentially of whole plant was 7.6, 15.8, 24.6, 31.6, 42.2, 62.09, 75.2, 83.6, 96.52 and 104.7 ml per each 1 g incubated samples. The measured data in this study suggest that winterfat with high content of CP and NDF with its lose structure could be a suitable forage source for grazing small ruminants in the dry nature rangelands in most parts of Iran.