Chemical composition, rumen degradability and fermentation characteristics of fresh pragmates australis ensiled with different additives

Document Type : Ruminant Nutrition


1 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdwosi University of Mashhad

2 Bu-Ali Sina University


Introduction: Pragmates australis (Pa) (common reed) is a riverside perennial grass found in wetlands throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world. Pa grows in many wetlands around rivers in Iran. Animal feed restriction is the main problem of Iranian animal production systems and this feed resource can be fed to native livestock especially in rural areas. Ensiling Pa could improve its feeding value. The aim of this study, therefore, was to measure the chemical composition, gas production and rumen degradability characteristics of the fresh and ensiled Pa with different additives.

Materials and Methods: Plant samples were harvested during growth season from the city of Bojnoord,in Iran. The Pa samples were chopped and ensiled into airtight plastic bags as follow; 1)the fresh whole plant of Pa as control (Pa), 2) pa + 4% NaOH, 3) Pa+4% urea, 4) Pa+10% molasses, 5) Pa+4% urea +10% molasses and 6) pa+4% urea + 10% molasses +4% NaOH (on DM basis). Duration of the ensiling process lasted 60 days. Chemical composition of the samples was measured through the ordinary lab methods. The in vitro gas production was determined at 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72 and 96 hrs intervals after incubation. The in situ rumen degradability was also determined at 0, 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96 hrs after incubation. The experiment data were analyzed in a completely randomized design.

Results and Discussion: NDF and ADF contents of the ensiled samples with urea were the highest whereas they were the lowest in the NaOH treated samples. CP content of the urea treated Pa was higher than other samples. Ash content of the NaOH treated forage was significantly (P


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