Ensiling of Conocarpus erectus tree leaves with molasses, exogenous enzyme and Lactobacillus plantarum impacts on ruminal sheep biogases production and fermentation

  • Morteza ChajiEmail author
  • Ehsan Direkvandi
  • Abdelfattah Z. M. SalemEmail author


This study was performed to evaluate the effect of applying molasses (5% w/w) (M), exogenous enzyme (cellulase; 6 millions U kg−1) (E) and Lactobacillus plantarum (3 × 105 cfu g−1 of fresh material) (LAB) on the ensiling characteristics of Conocarpus erectus leaves. Eight treatments were studied; (1) without additive (conocarpus silage: CS), (2) CS + E (CSE), (3) CS + M (CSM), (4) CS + LAB (CSL), (5) CS + E + M (CSEM), (6) CS + E + LAB (CSEL), (7) CS + M + LAB (CSML) and (8) CS + E + M + LAB (CSEML). The lowest amount (P < 0.05) of ash-free neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and ash-free acid detergent fiber were observed for CSE. The pH only affected by addition of molasses (P < 0.05), while the concentration of ammonia-N of Conocarpus silage was affected (P < 0.05) by molasses, meanwhile it decreased significantly for CSEM and CSM. The results of gas production parameter and in vitro digestibility showed that the use of silage additives leads to increase (P < 0.05) the coefficients b and c for CSML. The cumulative gas production in all hours significantly increased in treatment CSEML, CSML and CSL (P  < 0.05). The highest amount (P < 0.05) of produced gas, organic matter disappearance, apparently degraded substrate (ADS) and microbial crude protein (MCP) were affected by silage additives and increased for CSE (519 and 485 mg g−1 of DM, respectively). In addition, ADS and MCP were affected (P < 0.05) by silage additives and increased for CSE (519 and 485 mg g−1 of DM, respectively). The concentration of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) increased (P < 0.05) significantly for CSML (0.414 mmol l−1). However, the amount of metabolizable energy (ME) and pH were not affected by experimental treatment (P  > 0.05). In vitro digestibility of dry matter (DMD) and in vitro digestibility of NDF (NDFD) increased (P < 0.05)  for CSML and the highest concentration of ammonia-N was observed in silage without additive. The result of these experiments showed due to the positive effect of a treatment containing molasses and lactic acid bacteria (CSML), maybe the treatment with it will be effective in improving the nutritional value of conocarpus leaves in ruminants.


Conocarpus Silage additives Gas production In vitro digestibility 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan for their financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Animal Science and Food TechnologyAgricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of KhuzestanMollasaniIran
  2. 2.Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y ZootecniaUniversidad Autónoma del Estado de MéxicoTolucaMexico

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