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Open AccessArticle

Rumen In Vitro Fermentation and In Situ Degradation Kinetics of Winter Forage Brassicas Crops

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Animal Production Institute, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia PO Box 567, Chile
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Graduate School, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia PO Box 567, Chile
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Animal Science Institute, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia PO Box 567, Chile
4
Soils and Crops Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Québec City, QC G1V 2J3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(11), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110904
Received: 13 September 2019 / Revised: 23 October 2019 / Accepted: 25 October 2019 / Published: 1 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Vitro Digestibility in Animal Nutritional Studies)
Winter brassica crops such as kales and swedes are used to supply feed in times of seasonal shortage. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is little information about the fermentation characteristics of these forages in the rumen. This study assessed the nutrient concentration, in vitro fermentation and in situ rumen degradation characteristics of Brassica oleracea (L.) ssp. acephala (kales) and Brassica napus (L.) ssp. napobrassica (swedes). The kales and swedes both showed different nutrient concentrations and fermented fast and extensively in the rumen. However, in vitro fermentation of swedes resulted in lower acetate and greater proportions of butyrate and propionate. Varieties of swedes showed more differences in terms of degradation and fermentation in the rumen compared to kale varieties.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the nutritional value, the rumen in vitro fermentation, and the in situ degradation of Brassica oleracea (L.) ssp. acephala (kales) and Brassica napus (L.) ssp. napobrassica (swedes) for winter use. Five varieties of each brassica were used in three field replicates and were randomized in a complete block nested design. All forage varieties were harvested at 210 days post-sowing to analyze the chemical composition, in vitro gas production, volatile fatty acid (VFA) production and in situ dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) degradability. Kales presented higher DM and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) content (p < 0.01), whereas swedes showed higher CP, metabolizable energy (ME), glucose, fructose, total sugars, NFC, and nonstructural carbohydrate (NSC) content (p < 0.01). The kale and swede varieties differed in their CP and sugar concentrations, whereas the kale varieties differed in their DM and raffinose content. The rates of gas production were higher for swedes than for kales (p < 0.01). No differences between the brassica species (p > 0.05) were observed in the total VFA production, whereas kales had a higher proportion of acetate and swedes had higher proportions of butyrate (p < 0.05). Only the swede varieties showed differences in VFA production (p < 0.05). The soluble fraction “a”, potential and effective in situ DM degradability were higher in swedes (p < 0.01), but kales presented greater DM and CP degradation rates. Differences were observed between brassica species in the chemical composition, degradation kinetics, and ruminal fermentation products, whereas differences among varieties within species were less frequent but need to be considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: kale; swede; volatile fatty acids; degradation rates kale; swede; volatile fatty acids; degradation rates
MDPI and ACS Style

Daza, J.; Benavides, D.; Pulido, R.; Balocchi, O.; Bertrand, A.; Keim, J. Rumen In Vitro Fermentation and In Situ Degradation Kinetics of Winter Forage Brassicas Crops. Animals 2019, 9, 904.

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