Feed additives

News 1719 views last update:14 Jan 2016

Effects of eucalyptus on nutrient digestibility

Cooperative work from Vietnamese and Thai researchers looked into the effects of eucalyptus (E. Camaldulensis) crude oils (EuO) supplementation on voluntary feed intake and rumen fermentation characteristics in swamp buffaloes.

Four rumen fistulated swamp buffaloes, body weight (BW) of 420±15.0 kg, were randomly assigned according to a 2×2 factorial arrangement in a 4×4 Latin square design. The dietary treatments were untreated rice straw (RS) without EuO (T1) and with EuO (T2) supplementation, and 3% urea-treated rice straw (UTRS) without EuO (T3) and with EuO (T4) supplementation. The EuO was supplemented at 2 mL/h/d in respective treatment. Experimental animals were kept in individual pens and concentrate mixture was offered at 3 g/kg BW while roughage was fed ad libitum.

Intake improved
It was shown that total dry matter and roughage intake, and apparent digestibilites of organic matter and neutral detergent fiber were improved (p<0.01) by utrs. there was no effect of euo supplementation on feed intake and nutrient digestibility. ruminal ph and temperature were not (p>0.05) affected by either roughage sources or EuO supplementation. However, buffaloes fed UTRS had higher ruminal ammonia nitrogen and blood urea nitrogen as compared with RS. Total volatile fatty acid and butyrate proportion were similar among treatments, whereas acetate was decreased and propionate molar proportion was increased by EuO supplementation.

Effect on nitrogen
Feeding UTRS resulted in lower acetate and higher propionate concentration compared to RS. Moreover, supplementation of EuO reduced methane production especially in UTRS treatment. Protozoa populations were reduced by EuO supplementation while fungi zoospores remained the same. Total, amylolytic and cellulolytic bacterial populations were increased (p<0.01) by utrs; however, euo supplementation did not affect viable bacteria. nitrogen intake and nitrogen in faeces were found higher in buffaloes fed utrs. a positive nitrogen balance (absorption and retention) was in buffaloes fed utrs. supplementation of euo did not affect nitrogen utilisation. both allantoin excretion and absorption and microbial nitrogen supply were increased by utrs whereas efficiency of microbial protein synthesis was similar in all treatments.>

Conclusions
Findings of present study suggested that EuO could be used as a feed additive to modify the rumen fermentation in reducing methane production both in RS and UTRS. Feeding UTRS could improve feed intake and efficiency of rumen fermentation in swamp buffaloes. However, more research is warranted to determine the effect of EuO supplementation in production animals.

The full study can be read in the January issue of the Asian Australasian Journal of Animal Science.

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