Evaluation of nutritive value of water hyacinth (Eichhornia Crassipes) and guinea grass (Panicum maximum) mixture as animal feed in the tropics
The nutritive value of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) mixture as animal feed resources in the tropics were evaluated. The mixture of the treatments: A (0% water hyacinth + 90% Guinea grass + 10% concentrate), B (30% water hyacinth + 60% Guinea grass + 10% concentrate), C (45% water hyacinth + 45% Guinea grass + 10% concentrate), D (60% water hyacinth + 30% Guinea grass + 10% concentrate) and E (90% water hyacinth + 0% Guinea grass + 10% concentrate) were incubated in vitro for 96 hours to monitor total gas production (ml/200 mg DM) at post incubation. Methane (mmol/200mg DM) was evaluated by introducing 10 M NaOH into the content. Metabolizable energy (MJ/Kg DM), organic matter digestibility (%) and Short chain fatty acids (mmol) were calculated. Results showed that the crude protein and neutral detergent fibre (g/100 g DM) ranged from 10.28 to10.42 and 55.62 to 56.29, respectively. Inclusion levels of water weed apparently reduced the total gas production. It was concluded that water hyacinth as forage may be a good combination with Guinea grass for livestock production, but must not be higher than 30 % inclusion for optimal performance.
Key words: Guinea grass, in vitro gas fermentation, Ruminants, Secondary metabolites, Water hyacinth