In vitro ruminal fermentation characteristics and utilisable CP supply of sainfoin and birdsfoot trefoil silages and their mixtures with other legumes

Animal : an International Journal of Animal Bioscience
A Grosse BrinkhausF Dohme-Meier


The extensive protein degradation occurring during ensiling decreases the nutritive value of silages, but this might be counteracted by tannins. Therefore, silages from two legume species containing condensed tannins (CT) - sainfoin (SF) and birdsfoot trefoil (two cultivars: birdsfoot trefoil, cv. Bull (BTB) and birdsfoot trefoil, cv. Polom) - were compared for their in vitro ruminal fermentation characteristics. The effect of combining them with two CT-free legume silages (lucerne (LU) and red clover (RC)) was also determined. The supply of duodenally utilisable CP (uCP) in the forages was emphasised. The legumes were each harvested from three field sites. After 24 h of wilting on the field, the legumes were ensiled in laboratory silos for 86 days. Proximate constituents, silage fermentation characteristics, CT content and CP fractions were determined. Subsequently, silage samples and 1 : 1 mixtures of the CT-containing and CT-free silages were incubated for 24 h in batch cultures using ruminal fluid and buffer (1 : 2, v/v). Each treatment was replicated six times in six runs. The effects on pH, ammonia and volatile fatty acid concentrations, protozoal counts, and total gas and methane production were determined. uCP content w...Continue Reading


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