The effect of drying methods on the chemical composition and in-vitro digestibility of some browse plants
Keywords:In Vitro, Digestibility, Proximate composition, Browse plants, Dry methods, Plant species
Browse plants are under-utilized in the dry season because of the insufficient knowledge
about the drying process that best helps to prevent degradation of nutrients available to
ruminant. The experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of drying methods (air
drying, oven drying and sun drying) on the chemical composition, in vitro digestibility of
leaves and leaves + twigs from (Albizia lebbeck, Albizia saman, Daniella oliveri,
Enterolobium cyclocarpum, Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena leucocephala, Milletia griffoniana
and Pterocarpus santalinoides). The leaves and twigs were dried under the three drying
methods until constant weight and milled for in vitro digestibility. Gas production was
recorded at 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, and 48 hours of the incubation period with 8x3x2
factorial design using Duncan Multiple Ranged test. When the browse species were
compared, there were significant differences in the incubation hours while there were also
significant (P>0.05) differences for the plant parts in the incubation hours except at 3 hours.
The value of short chain fatty acid (SCFA) μmol, ranged from 0.22 to 0.57, metabolizable
energy (ME) MJkgDM ranged from 2.72 to 3.25, while organic matter digestibility (OMD) %
ranged from 38.44 to 50.48 respectively. Albizia lebbeck was highest (P<0.05) for SCFA,
ME, OMD. It is concluded that drying methods had no effect on the forages considered.
However, the leaves of these browse plants are highly digestible and their inherent nutrients
are higher than the range recommended for the maintenance in ruminant production.