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Fermentation characteristics and microbial counts of Megathyrsus maximus silage as influenced by Moringa oleifera seeds and ensiling period


The fermentation characteristics and microbial counts of Megathyrsus maximus ensiled at varying inclusions of Moringa oleifera seeds at different ensiling periods were investigated. Factorial experiment consisting of 3 varying proportions of grass and seeds (100:0, 75:25, and 50:50) and 4 ensiling duration (30, 60, 90, and 120 days) was carried out. The pH was significantly highest (p < 0.05) with the highest inclusion of seeds while pH decreased with increased ensiling duration. Colour and odour changed as the level of seed inclusion increased in the silage while the moisture content (9.10) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) at 30 days of ensiling. Ammonia nitrogen was highest at the highest level of seed inclusion while lactic acid was highest at 60 days of ensiling. Crude protein and tannin contents of the silage increased (p < 0.05) following the increased seed inclusion while there was a reduction as the ensiling duration increased. The total anaerobic bacteria count, total lactobacilli count, and total yeast count of the silage decreased following the increased inclusion of seeds in the silage. As the ensiling duration increased, a reduction in all the silage microbial counts was observed. Inclusion of 25 % of the seeds to 75 % of the grass for silage with ensiling up to 120 days supported improved fermentation characteristics, microbial and crude protein contents as well as a reduction in tannin content which implies that there will not be a detrimental effect on animals that feed on the silage.

Zeitrahmen der Veröffentlichung:
Volume Open
Fachgebiete der Zeitschrift:
Biologie, Botanik