ASIAN-AUSTRALASIAN JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCES, vol.18, no.2, pp.203-208, 2005 (SCI-Expanded)
The aim of this experiment was to determine the chemical composition of six commonly utilized fodder trees and shrub species in Turkey, namely Glycrrhiza glabra L, Arbutus andrachne, Carpinus betilus, Juniperus communis, Quercus libari L and Pistica lentiscus and its relationship with gas production and estimated parameters when incubated with rumen fluid ill vitro. There were significant (p < 0.001) differences between leaves in terms of crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF), total condensed tannin (TCT), bound condensed tannin (BCT) and soluble condensed tannin (SCT). Crude protein contents ranged from 5.74% (Juniperus communis) to 12.59% (Glycrrhiza glabra L). Acid detergent fiber contents ranged from 25.14% (Glycrrhiza glabra L) to 39.23% (Juniperus communis). Total condensed tannin (TCT) contents of leaves ranged from 4.34% (Quercus libari L) to 20.34% (Juniperus communis). Acid detergent fiber (ADF) and total condensed tannin contents of leaves were negatively correlated with gas productions and some estimated parameters. Potential gas productions (A) of Glycrrhiza glabra L, Arbutus andrachne, Quercus libari L and Pistica lentiscus were significantly (p < 0.001) higher than those of Carpinus betilus and Juniperus communis whereas gas production rate (mu(24)) of Pistica lentiscus was significantly (p < 0.001) higher than the others. Time (h) to produce 50% of total gas pool size (T-50) of Juniperus communis was significantly (p < 0.001) lower than that of Carpinus betilus whereas time (h) to produce 90% of total gas pool size (T-90) of Juniperus communis was significantly lower than the others except for Pistica lentiscus. The metabolizable energy (ME) contents of leaves ranged from 8.86 to 10.39 MJ kg(-1) DM. The results obtained in this study suggested that browse species had a significant effect on chemical composition, gas production and estimated parameters of leaves. Leaves from Glycrrhiza glabra L with a considerable amount of CP had a high rank value in terms of ME. Therefore leaves from Glycrrhiza glabra L may have a high potential value for small ruminant animals in terms of rumen and whole digestibility. Leaves from other species studied require protein supplementation when they are the only feed consumed by ruminant animals.