Ruminal digestibility, microbial count, volatile fatty acids and gas kinetics of alternative forage sources for arid and semi-arid areas as in vitro

KARA K., AKTUĞ E., Ozkaya S.

ITALIAN JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE, vol.15, no.4, pp.673-680, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/1828051x.2016.1249420
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.673-680
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


Atriplex (Atriplex patula) and plantago (Plantago lanceolata) species are commonly found in grasslands which have arid and semi-arid climatic conditions. The aim of the study was to make comparison of atriplex, plantago and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) herbages in terms of nutrient matter content, gas kinetics, methane production, estimated digestion parameters, ammonia-N, volatile fatty acids (VFAs), total bacteria count and numbers of protozoa. In vitro gas production was carried out for up to 96h by using the in vitro digestion technique. The molar total VFAs, metabolic energy (ME), net energy lactation (NEL), and organic matter digestibility (OMD) levels, count of total bacteria, number of total ciliate and number of Dasytricha sp., Diplodiniinae and Entodiniinae did not show significant differences between alfalfa and the alternative forages (p > .05). In vitro methane production of atriplex herbage was higher than that of plantago herbage (p < .01). The ruminal ammonia-N concentration of plantago herbage was lower than those of atriplex and alfalfa herbages (p < .001). The individual molar proportions of propionic acid of alfalfa herbage were higher than those of the other forages (p < .001). The results of the present experiment confirmed that A. patula and P. lanceolata, which are appropriate for the flora of the Mediterranean region, can be used as alternative good quality forage plants to alfalfa hay for grazing animals.