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Assessing the feeding values of leaves, seeds and seeds-removed pods of <i>Moringa stenopetala</i> using <i>in vitro</i> gas production technique

Aberra Melesse


This study presents the feeding values of leaves, seeds and seeds-removed pods of Moringa stenopetala for ruminants as evaluated by in vitro gas production technique. Feed samples were analyzed for proximate nutrients using official methods. Each feed samples (200 mg) were incubated in buffered rumen fluid for 96 h and fermentation characteristics were estimated using established in vitro gas production models. Metabolizable energy (ME), organic matter digestibility (OMD) and short chain fatty acids (SCFA) were calculated from corrected 24 h gas production data. The gross energy content (MJ/kg DM) was 24.9, 18.6 and 16.8 for seeds, leaves and seeds-removed pods, respectively. The crude protein ranged from 11.2% in seeds-removed pods to 39.5% in seeds, the average being 16.8%. The sugar content was 10.7 and 7.3% for leaves and seeds respectively. The OMD value was highest in leaves (74.3%) followed by seeds (52.3%) and seeds-removed pods (38.1%). The highest SCFA (103 mmol) was obtained from leaves and the lowest from seeds-removed pods (31 mmol). The ME (MJ/kg DM) ranged from 4.15 in seeds-removed pods to 9.94 in leaves. The average gas production from insoluble but with time fermentable fraction was 53.0, 32.4, and 26.1 ml/200 mg DM for leaves, seeds and seeds-removed pods, respectively. In vitro gas volumes at various incubation times were positively correlated with ash, sugar, nitrogen free extract and non-fiber carbohydrate; while they were negatively correlated with cellulose, hemicelluloses, neutral and acid detergent fibers. In conclusion, Moringa stenopetala leaves can be used as potential sources of protein and energy supplements to tropical livestock feeding system by replacing expensive conventional feed resources.

Keywords: Chemical compositions, feeding values, in vitro gas production, leaves, M. stenopetala, seeds, seeds-removed pods