Use of In vitro Gas Production Technique to Investigate Interactions between Rice Straw, Wheat Straw, Maize Stover and Alfalfa or Clover

Tang, S.X.;Tayo, G.O.;Tan, Z.L.;Sun, Z.H.;Wang, M.;Ren, G.P.;Han, X.F.

  • Received : 2007.08.06
  • Accepted : 2007.11.27
  • Published : 2008.09.01


Measurement of gas produced during in vitro fermentation was used to investigate the fermentation characteristics and interactions of rice straw, wheat straw or maize stover mixed with alfalfa or clover at proportions of 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75 and 0:100, respectively. Cumulative gas production was recorded at 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, 24 and 48 h of incubation, and the Gompertz function was used to describe the kinetics of gas production. In vitro dry matter and organic matter disappearances (IVDMD and IVOMD) were determined after 48 h incubation. The rate of gas production of clover was higher (p<0.05) than that of rice straw, wheat straw, maize stover and alfalfa when straws and hays were incubated separately. Increasing the proportion of alfalfa in the straw-alfalfa mixtures increased (p<0.05) the rates, but not the maximum volume of gas production. However, both rate and the maximum volume of gas production were increased (p<0.01) as the proportions of clover increased in the straw-clover mixtures. The cumulative gas production at 48 h, IVDMD and IVOMD showed no consistent interaction effects between different mixtures of cereal straws and hays. The extent of interactive effects was affected by the types of cereal straw, legume hay and their proportions in the mixture. The appropriate combination for the mixture of rice straw or maize stover with leguminous hays was 75:25 and 25:75, respectively. The better combination occurred at a proportion of 50:50 for the mixture of wheat straw and alfalfa. We conclude that the suitable proportion of low-quality straw and high quality legume hay combination should be considered in the ration formulation system of ruminants according to the extent of positive interactive effects.


Interactive Effect;Straw;Legume Hay;In vitro Gas Production


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