Influence of maturity stage on nutritive value of typha for ruminants
The study evaluated the influence of maturity on the nutritive value and fermentation parameters of Typha. Typha samples were collected at two different stages of growth, as indicated by the height of the plants: either 0.5 m (Low Typha; LT, age 3-6months) or 1.5 m (High Typha; HT, age 9-12 months). Samples were analyzed for chemical composition, and incubated in vitro with ruminal fluid from sheep to determine the main fermentation parameters. As maturity advanced, the dry matter, fiber and lignin content (25.30%, 70.40%, 47.30% and 10.58%) in the Typha increased, whereas the content of ashes and protein (12.18% and 12.24%) decreases. The changes in chemical composition caused a significant reduction in both the in vitro ruminal degradability after 96 h of incubation (38.6 and 22.9% for LT and HT, respectively) and the production of volatile fatty acids after 24 h of incubation (6.08 and 5.87 mmol/g dry matter incubated), indicating that the nutritive value of the Typha declines with advancing maturity. The results indicate that Typha plants for ruminant feeding should be preferably harvested at early growth stages.
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