Comparison of in vitro digestibility using slaughtered and fistulated cattle as sources of inoculum
In vitro methods of feed evaluation utilise rumen liquour from fistulated cattle. Fistulated cattle are associated with high acquisition and maintenance costs in addition to its implications on animal welfare. An experiment was conducted to compare in-vitro dry matter (INVDMD) and organic matter (INVOMD) digestibility of four diets using two sources of inocula namely; (i) slaughtered cattle and (ii) fistulated steers. Four fistulated crossbred (Friesian × Ankole) steers were assembled and fed on four diets in a Latin Square change-over arrangement. The two-stage Tilley and Terry (1963) method of nutrient digestibility was used. The overall INVDMD significantly increased with dietary crude protein levels (P <0.05). There was no difference in INVDMD obtained from slaughtered cattle or fistulated steers as inocula sources. Rumen liquour from slaughtered cattle can successfully replace use of fistulated cattle as the source of inoculum.
Key words: Dry matter, organic matter
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