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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Dried Leaves of Leucaena leucocephala on Rumen Fermentation, Rumen Microbial Population, and Enteric Methane Production in Crossbred Heifers

1
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Autonomous University of Yucatan, Mérida 97300, Mexico
2
National Center for Disciplinary Research in Physiology and Animal Breeding, National Institute for Forestry, Crops, and Livestock Research – Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ajuchitlán 76280, Mexico
3
The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Km 17 Recta Cali-Palmira, A.A. 6713 Cali, Colombia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(2), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020300
Received: 27 December 2019 / Revised: 1 February 2020 / Accepted: 8 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
The objective of the experiment was to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation of heifers with increasing levels of dried Leucaena leucocephala leaves (DLL) on nutrient digestibility, fermentation parameters, microbial rumen population, and production of enteric methane (CH4). Nutrient digestibility decreased with increasing levels of DLL in the ration. Inclusion of DLL did not have detrimental effects on rumen pH, rumen microbial community, and volatile fatty acids proportions. Enteric CH4 emissions in heifers were reduced with increasing levels of DLL in the ration.
The effects of dietary inclusion of dried Leucaena leucocephala leaves (DLL) on nutrient digestibility, fermentation parameters, microbial rumen population, and production of enteric methane (CH4) in crossbred heifers were evaluated. Four heifers were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design consisting of four periods and four levels of inclusion of DLL: 0%, 12%, 24%, and 36% of dry matter (DM) intake. Results showed that DM intake (DMI), organic matter intake, and gross energy intake (GEI) were similar (p > 0.05) among treatments. Apparent digestibility of organic matter, neutral detergent fiber, and energy decreased with increasing levels of DLL in the ration (p < 0.05). In contrast, digestible crude protein (CP) was higher (p < 0.05) in treatments with 12% and 24% DM of DLL. The inclusion of DLL did not affect (p > 0.05) rumen pH and total volatile fatty acids. Rumen microbial community was not affected (p > 0.05) by treatment. There was a linear reduction (p < 0.05) in CH4 emissions as the levels of DLL in the ration were increased. Results of this study suggest that an inclusion of 12% DM of ration as DLL enhances digestible CP and reduces daily production of enteric CH4 without adversely affecting DMI, rumen microbial population, and fermentation parameters. View Full-Text
Keywords: Leucaena leucocephala; methane; digestibility; volatile fatty acids Leucaena leucocephala; methane; digestibility; volatile fatty acids
MDPI and ACS Style

Montoya-Flores, M.D.; Molina-Botero, I.C.; Arango, J.; Romano-Muñoz, J.L.; Solorio-Sánchez, F.J.; Aguilar-Pérez, C.F.; Ku-Vera, J.C. Effect of Dried Leaves of Leucaena leucocephala on Rumen Fermentation, Rumen Microbial Population, and Enteric Methane Production in Crossbred Heifers. Animals 2020, 10, 300.

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