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Effects of Inclusion of Different Levels of Ethiopian Thyme (Thymus schimperi Ronniger) as Natural Additive on Chemical Composition and In Sacco Dry Matter Degradability of Total Mixed Ration and Feed Ingredients

DOI: 10.4236/ojvm.2022.1211013, PP. 155-169

Keywords: Natural Additive, Feed Degradability, Thymus schimperi, Medicinal Plant, Phytochemicals

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This study evaluated the effects of the inclusion of Ethiopian thyme (Thymus schimperi Ronninger) to natural pasture hay (NPH), noug seed cake (NSC), wheat bran (WB) and total mixed ration (TMR) on the chemical composition and in Sacco dry matter (DM) degradability of the feeds. The Thyme plant used for the study was collected from Dinsho and Tarmaber districts in the highlands of Ethiopia. Samples of the TMR and NPH, WB and NSC with or without thyme were divided into two parts and ground to pass through 1 mm screen for chemical analysis and 2 mm screen for in sacco DM degradability. The TMR contained 50% NPH, 32.5% WB, 14% NSC, 3% molasses and 0.5% common salt. The feed ingredients (NPH, WB and NSC) and the TMR were incubated without thyme or with thyme substituting the diet at 8%, 16% and 24% levels of treatments. The chemical composition of all the feeds differed significantly (P < 0.05) among treatments. In sacco rumen dry matter degradability of NPH, WB, NSC and TMR was increased (P < 0.05) with increasing concentration of thyme in the feeds for most incubation hours considered in this study. The in sacco DM degradability of NPH at all incubation hours was higher (P < 0.05) for 24% thyme inclusion level compared to the 0% and 8% levels. The slowly degradable fraction (B), potential degradability (PD) and effective degradability (ED) fractions for NPH were higher for the highest level of thyme inclusion than the other treatments. The inclusion of the thyme plant leaves and twigs in NPH was observed to lower lag time in the degradation of NPH. The B and PD fractions of DM were higher (P < 0.05) for noug seed cake added with thyme additive at 8% and 16% DM in the diet compared with the control, respectively. Similarly, the dietary inclusion of the herbal additive in the WB was observed to lower the lag time. The A fraction of TMR was lowered for 16% thyme level compared to other treatments, while the B fraction was highest for the 8% and lowest for the 0% thyme inclusion levels in this study. It could be concluded that the inclusion of powder of leaves and twigs of Thymus schimperi plant up to a level of 24% DM in feed can reasonably stimulate the growth and activity of the certain rumen microbes that promoted an improvement in ruminal DM degradability of the diet with the thyme inclusion.


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