The ability of tanniniferous legumes to reduce methane production and enhance feed utilization in Barki rams: in vitro and in vivo evaluation

H. M. El-Zaiat, A. E. Kholif*, M. S. Moharam, M. F. Attia, A. L. Abdalla, S. M.A. Sallam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Two experiments (in vitro and in vivo evaluation) were conducted to evaluate the ability of three different tanniniferous legumes to replace berseem hay on ruminal fermentation, digestibility and methane (CH4) emission. Berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) hay (BH) was considered as control, or replaced at 50 % with Acacia saligna (AS), Leucaena leucocephala (LL) or Atriplex halimus (AH) on a DM basis. In Experiment 1 (in vitro evaluation), in vitro ruminal degradability, gas and CH4 production were measured. In Experiment 2 (in vivo evaluation), twelve Barki rams weighing 43.29 ± 0.13 kg were randomly assigned into 4 treatments and individually fed the BH, AS and LL diets for 30 days (21 days for adaptation, 7 days for digestibility and N balance and the subsequent 2 days for CH4 measurements). Results of Experiment 1 showed that AS, LL and AH diets decreased (P < 0.05) gas, CH4 and total protozoa compared to BH. Both AS and LL diets increased (P < 0.05) ruminal propionate and partitioning factor, while decreased, ammonia-N (NH3-N) concentrations, acetate, acetate/propionate ratio and protozoa count compared to the BH diet. In Experiment 2, the LL diet decreased (P < 0.05) dry matter intake and digestibility of crude protein compared with the BH diet. Rams fed both AS and LL diets showed greater (P < 0.05) fecal N and retained N, while decreased (P < 0.01) urinary N excretion and exhibited 11.45 % reductions in CH4 production. In conclusion, the partial replacement of BH with AS reduced N losses and CH4 emissions without negative effects on ruminal fermentation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106259
JournalSmall Ruminant Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Barki rams
  • Berseem hay
  • Methane emission
  • Ruminal fermentation
  • Tanniniferous plants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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