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Bean husks as a supplemental fiber for ruminants: Potential use for activation of fibrolytic rumen bacteria to improve main forage digestion

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This study evaluated the suitability of easily digested fiber sources as a supplemental fiber to improve overall fiber digestion in ruminants. First, the degradation of five fibrous feedstuffs and the stimulatory effects on rumen bacteria were examined in situ. Chickpea and lablab bean husks were selected for their potential use due to their large degradable fraction (> 94%), which had a stimulatory effect on fibrolytic rumen bacteria such as Fibrobacter succinogenes. Second, a possible improvement in the digestibility of rice straw diet by husk supplementation was monitored in vivo. Four dietary treatments comprising RS (rice straw and concentrate), CHM (RS supplemented with Myanmar chickpea husk), CHE (RS with Egyptian chickpea husk) and LH (RS with lablab bean husk) were allocated to four wethers. The digestibility of acid detergent fiber was 3.1–5.5% greater in CHM and LH than RS. Total volatile fatty acid concentration was higher in LH than other treatments. Acetate proportion was higher in LH than RS. Ruminal abundance of F. succinogenes was 1.3–1.5 times greater in CHM and LH than RS. These results suggest that bean husk supplementation, especially lablab bean husk, might improve the nutritive value of rice straw diet by stimulating fibrolytic bacteria.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Kita, Sapporo, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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