Chemical Composition, In situ Degradability and In vitro Gas Production of Ephedra Plant (Ephedra intermedia)

Document Type : Scientific - Research Articles



Nutritive value of Ephedra (Ephedra intermedia) was evaluated through determination of chemical compositions, in situ degradability and in vitro gas production techniques using three permanently fistulated adult Baluchi sheep. The Samples were harvested during the late spring from rangeland in north of Khorasan Razavi province. The rate of gas production and degradability characteristics of dry matter were measured at 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 36 48, 72 and 96 hour. This forage contained 91.9, 9.2, 60.7, 30.8, 8.1, 3.3 and 18.6% of OM, CP, NDF, ADF, Ash, EE and NFC, respectively. The results obtained from degradability of dry matter showed that fraction a (rapidly degradable), b (slowly degradable) and c (rate constant degradable) were 20.16%, 42.06% and 0.07%/h, respectively. Also, in vitro gas production parameters (b and c), OMD and ME values of experimental sample were 65.22 ml/g, 0.043 ml/h, 27.42 g/100g DM and 4.18 MJ/kg DM, respectively. From the obtained results, it was concluded that palatability and degradability of this forage can be limited probably due to its high content of phenolic compounds (2.93%) and tannin (0.97%). This characteristic can be helpful for the local rangelands under deterioration.