Potential of Some Legume Forages for Rumen Defaunation in Goats

: Maita L. Aban1 and Lolito C. Bestil2


Plant secondary metabolites appeared to have some effects on rumen fermentation pattern, microbial population, feed intake and digestibility. An experiment was conducted to identify forage species with potential in defaunating (killing protozoal population) the reticulo-rumen in goats. There were five forage species tested: Robles (Cassia siamea), Desmodium (Desmodium heterophyllum), Kakawate (Gliricidia sepium), Centro (Centrosema pubescens) and Ipil-ipil (Leucaena leucocephala) with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) as the control treatment. The forages of the different species were homogenized using a blender to extract the juice. The extracts were then drenched down into the reticulo-rumen of goats through stomach tubing at 1% of their body weight (BW).

Froth analysis for saponin content showed higher values in Robles followed by Ipil-ipil, with Kakawate as the lowest. Ipil-ipil and Robles had comparable defaunating effects with that of the SLS which significantly reduced (p<0.01) the protozoal numbers as compared to the other forages tested. However, Ipil-ipil and Desmodium appeared to have significantly higher (p<0.01) dry matter (DM) intake p of the basal Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) diet as compared to the other Pennisetum purpureum forages tested. Bacterial population also decreased but differences among treatments were not significant. Therefore, forage extracts containing high amounts of saponin are effective in reducing protozoal population, comparable to that of SLS. The use of Ipil-ipil forage extract for defaunating the rumen is recommended as it is organic, unlike SLS, and also promotes higher dietary DM intake.

Keywords: Rumen defaunation, saponin-containing forage extracts, goats

Annals of Tropical Research 38(1):183-195(2016)
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