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Nutritional Characteristics of Forage Grown in South of Benin
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 Title & Authors
Nutritional Characteristics of Forage Grown in South of Benin
Musco, Nadia; Koura, Ivan B.; Tudisco, Raffaella; Awadjihe, Ghislain; Adjolohoun, Sebastien; Cutrignelli, Monica I.; Mollica, Maria Pina; Houinato, Marcel; Infascelli, Federico; Calabro, Serena;
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In order to provide recommendations on the most useful forage species to smallholder farmers, eleven grass and eleven legume forages grown in Abomey-Calavi in Republic of Benin were investigated for nutritive value (i.e. chemical composition and energy content) and fermentation characteristics (i.e. gas and volatile fatty acid production, organic matter degradability). The in vitro gas production technique was used, incubating the forages for 120 h under anaerobic condition with buffalo rumen fluid. Compared to legume, tropical grass forages showed lower energy (8.07 vs 10.57 MJ/kg dry matter [DM]) and crude protein level (16.10% vs 19.91% DM) and higher cell wall content (neutral detergent fiber: 63.8% vs 40.45% DM), respectively. In grass forages, the chemical composition showed a quite high crude protein content; the in vitro degradability was slightly lower than the range of tropical pasture. The woody legumes were richer in protein and energy and lower in structural carbohydrates than herbaceous plants, however, their in vitro results are influenced by the presence of complex compounds (i.e. tannins). Significant correlations were found between chemical composition and in vitro fermentation characteristics. The in vitro gas production method appears to be a suitable technique for the evaluation of the nutritive value of forages in developing countries.
Grass;Legume;In vitro Gas Production;Nutritive Value;Degradability;
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