Preliminary evaluation of Moringa oleifera and Oxytenanthera abyssinica (bamboo) leaves as feed supplements for ruminants.
Moringa oleifera (M) and Oxytenanthera abyssinica (bamboo; B) leaves were evaluated as follows; 100%M, 75%M:25%B, 50%M:50%B, 25%M:75%B and 100%B, as feed supplements for ruminants. In-vitro gas production volumes (+/-polyethylene glycol, PEG) were measured to evaluate the effects of probable condensed tannins. OMD (%), ME (MJ/kg DM) and SCFA (mmol/40ml) were predicted. All the fodder combinations contained more than 8%CP; the minimum necessary to provide the minimum NH3 levels required by rumen microorganisms. Moringa inclusion at all levels resulted in ADF and NDF values that could promote voluntary dry matter intake and its digestibility. Significant (P<0.05) fodder effects on gas volumes were observed, with values of 21.25ml and 43.00ml/200mg sample being obtained for 100%B and 100%M respectively at 96hrs of incubation. Significant (P<0.05) PEG effects on gas production were observed for only two combinations; 50%M: 50%B and 25%M:75%B beyond the 24-hour incubation period. Significant (P<0.05) fodder effects were observed for the predicted parameters while no PEG (P>0.05) effects were observed. 75%M:25%B and 50%M:50%B fodder combinations show promise as protein supplements, particularly during the dry season in the tropics, when available feedstuffs for ruminants are usually devoid of most essential nutrients, particularly nitrogen.
Key words: Moringa oleifera, Oxytenanthera abyssinica, feed supplements, rumen fluid, polyethylene glycol, ruminants