Abstract #M273

# M273
In vitro fermentation of Moringa oleifera leaves supplemented in a ruminant diet.
S. Chizonda*1, J. Allen1, V. Fellner1, 1North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.

Global population growth continues to drive the need for dairy farm sustainability and improvement of system efficiencies. This has led to the exploration of alternative feed sources. Moringa oleifera is a multipurpose tree whose leaves are used as animal feed in many parts of the world and is a potential dairy animal feed. The objective of this study was to explore the potential use of Moringa as a dairy feed through analysis of in vitro fermentation properties. A batch culture in vitro digestibility study was carried out to analyze the effect of Moringa on rumen fermentation of a corn-based diet. Three levels of Moringa inclusion (50, 75, and 100%) replacing corn, were used and 100% alfalfa was the control. These were incubated with rumen fluid at periods of 0, 12, 24, and 48 h in triplicates plus blanks, making a total of 52 samples. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) profiles, pH, neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and methane from rumen samples were analyzed and dry matter disappearance (DMD) was calculated. Analysis indicated that feeds used had a crude protein (CP) content of 22% CP for Moringa, 15% CP alfafa, and 10% CP for corn. The results indicated that methane production was significantly lower (P < 0.0001) with Moringa inclusion (14.56 ± 1.72 nmol/mL at 100%) than alfafa (891.88 ± 351.89 nmol/mL). The total SCFA was not significantly different across all treatments at 48 h, with 128.53 ± 4.7 mM for Moringa inclusion and 129.64 ± 3.6 mM for the control. Moringa inclusion increased digestibility of DM and NDF. Inclusion of Moringa increased NDF from 9.1 ± 0.95% at 50% to 19.4 ± 2.26 at 100%. DMD increased only up to 75% Moringa inclusion (42.3 ± 0.85%) then dropped to 35.2 ± 1.34% at 100% inclusion and control was at 29.2 ± 0.31%. There was more butyrate produced from the control diet (13.1 ± 1.46 mM versus 7.11 ± 0.61 mM for Moringa) but Moringa increased propionate levels (47.23 ± 0.97 mM versus 31.28 ± 1.58 mM for control). The pH increased across all treatments, with time. Suppression of methane saves energy that might be wasted as gas production in the ruminant animal. The results suggest Moringa performs similarly to alfalfa as a high protein feed ingredient.

Key Words: efficiency, dairy, nutrition