EFFECT OF ENZYME PRE-TREATMENT PERIOD OF MAIZE STOVER ON IN VITRO DRY MATTER DIGESTIBILITY
Keywords:Maize stover, fibrolytic enzymes, ruminants, in vitro
In arid areas, diets fed to ruminant animals comprise mainly grasses and stovers, which are typically low in crude protein concentration and digestibility, high in fibre with lower degradation rates. These, especially maize stover, are produced in large amounts in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Many strategies thus far have been studied for the enhancement of low-quality forages for animal feeding. However, there is limited information on the effect of enzyme pre-treatment period of maize stover on dry matter digestibility (DMD). This study evaluated six enzyme pre-treatment periods on in vitro DMD (IVDMD) of maize stover. The periods evaluated were 0, 6, 12, 24, 36 and 48 hours after the application of an enzyme cocktail comprised of cellulase, xylanase and pectinase at 1.5, 0.5 and 1.5 g/kg DM, respectively. Untreated maize stover was also included at 0 hour after spraying with an equal amount of water as received by the enzyme treated stover. Significant (P<0.05) differences were observed in the dry matter (DM) content of maize stover across the pre-treatment periods in which maize stover at 0-hour post enzyme application had the lowest (P<0.05) DM content. There were no significant (P>0.05) differences on the contents of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and acid detergent fibre (ADF) of the pre-treated maize stover. In vitro 48 hours DM digestibility of pre-treated maize stover was significantly different amongst the treatments with untreated stover having the lowest (P<0.05) digestibility followed by 48 hours of stover treatment (P<0.05). An increase in the pre-treatment period resulted to a decrease (P<0.05) in 48 hours DM digestibility. There were no significant (P>0.05) differences in the 96 hours DM digestibility of enzyme treated maize stover amongst the pre-treatment period, however, untreated maize stover had a significantly lower (P<0.05) DM digestibility. From the findings of this study, it was observed that with enzyme treatment, it is best to feed directly after applying the enzymes because an increase in the pre-treatment period reduced the 48 hours DM digestibility in the current study. (Key words: Maize stover, fibrolytic enzymes, ruminants, in vitro)
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