Livestock Research for Rural Development 29 (2) 2017 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD Newsletter

Citation of this paper

Cassava (Manihot esculenta Cranz) foliage replacing brewer’s grains as protein supplement for Yellow cattle fed cassava pulp-urea and rice straw; effects on growth, feed conversion and methane emissions

Toum Keopaseuth and T R Preston1

Livestock Research Center, National agriculture and forestry research institute, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. PO Box 6644 Vientiane, Lao PDR
Toum_1@yahoo.com
1 Centro para la Investigación en Sistemas Sostenibles de Producción Agropecuaria (CIPAV), Carrera 25 No 6-62 Cali, Colombia

Abstract

Twelve local “Yellow” cattle with initial weight from 114 to 117kg and 1.8 to 2 years of age were allocated in a completely randomized block design of 4 treatments and 3 replicates. The treatments (as supplements to ad libitum cassava pulp plus 3% urea on DM basis and rice straw 1% of LW) were: cassava foliage and brewers’ grains in the ratio 4; 0, 3:1, 2:2 and 0:4 as % of live weight, fresh basis. The experiment was carried out for 120 days from February to July 2016. At the end of the trial, concentrations of methane and carbon dioxide were determined in eructed gas mixed with air in a closed chamber in which the animals were kept for 20 minutes prior to measurement of the gases.

There was a quadratic relationship between the rate of live weight and the proportion of brewers’ grains in the diet DM, with the maximum growth rate being recorded when the brewers’ grains provided 9-17% of the diet DM. There was a similar relationship between level of brewers’ grains and DM feed conversion. The ratio of methane to carbon dioxide in mixed eructed gas and air declined with a curvilinear trend as the fresh cassava foliage replaced brewers’ grains in the diet.

Key words: bypass protein, cyanide, feed intake, greenhouse gases, HCN, live weight gain


Introduction

A recent development in Lao PDR is the industrial production of starch for export using cassava roots as the feedstock. There are presently 5 factories in operation with a yearly demand of 200,000 tonnes of cassava roots. The extracted starch accounts for some 60% of the root DM, the remainder being a byproduct known as cassava pulp. Recent research has demonstrated that the pulp is of similar nutritive value to the original cassava root (Phanthavong et al 2014) and can be used as the basis of an intensive system of cattle fattening. The first demonstration of this system (Phamthavong et al 2016a) was based on the use of urea, brewers’ grains and rice straw as sources of the fermentable nitrogen, bypass protein and fiber needed to complement the cassava pulp which contains negligible quantities of protein (<3% in DM) and crude fiber (<10% in DM). However, farmer access to brewers’ grains is limited to the immediate area in which beer factories are found.

Another source of protein, which is considered to have rumen bypass characteristics (Ffoulkes and Preston 1978; Wanapat et al 1997; Promkot and Wanapat 2003; Sath et al 2008), and which can be grown by the farmer, is cassava foliage. It has been fed successfully to improve performance of sheep (Hue et al 2010), goats (Do et al 2002; Phengvichith and Ledin 2007; Thanh et al 2013) and cattle (Wanapat et al 2000; Thang et al 2010; Sengsouly and Preston 2016:) in fresh, wilted or dried form. Cassava leaves are known to contain variable levels of condensed tannins; about 3% in DM according to Netpana et al (2001) and Bui Phan Thu Hang and Ledin (2005). Cassava also contains cyanogenic glucosides, mainly linamarin, which release hydrogen cyanide after hydrolysis in the rumen by an endogenous linamarase (Miller and Conn 1980). Methane production was inhibited in anaerobic biodigesters charged with cassava root waste because of the high sensitivity of methanogenic bacteria to cyanide (Smith et al 1985; Cuzin and Labat 1992). Reduced production of methane was observed when "bitter" (hgh HCN) rather than "sweet" (low HCN) cassava foliage was the protein source in an in vitro rumen fermentation of molasses-urea (Phuong et al 2012).

The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of cassava foliage as a bypass protein source replacing brewers’ grains in diets for growing cattle fed cassava pulp-urea as the basal diet.


Materials and methods

Location and duration

The experiment was conducted in the Livestock Research, Center 44 km from Vientiane city Lao PDR from December 2015 to May, 2016.

Treatments and experimental design

The treatments as supplements to ad libitum cassava pulp (plus 3% urea on DM basis), rice straw at 1% of LW (fresh basis) and minerals were:

The design was a random arrangement of 4 treatments with three replications.

Animals and housing

Twelve male “Yellow” cattle, average age 1.5 years and initial weight 114-117 kg were purchased from farmers and housed in individual pens (Photo 1). They were treated for internal and external parasites with Ivomex-F and vaccinated against Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).

Photo 1. The individual pens made from local materials Photo 2. Ensiling the cassava pulp in polyethylene bags enclosed
inside ”stronger” polypropylene sacks
Feeding management

Cassava foliage (sweet variety) was planted on an area of 2000 m 2 in the Livestock Research Center. The foliage (leaves, petioles and stems) were harvested at 55 day intervals. With an expected yield of 2 kg fresh foliage/m2, an area of 15m2 was harvested daily increasing to 30m2/day by the end of the experiment. Brewers’ grains were purchased (about 3000 kg fresh basis) from the brewery and ensiled in polyethylene bags enclosed inside sacks of polypropylene (Photo 2). Cassava root pulp (about 5000 kg) was collected from the Indochina Tapioca factory and ensiled in the same way as the brewers’ grains. The cattle were adapted gradually to the experimental feeds beginning with ad libitum rice straw which was reduced gradually to 1 kg/head per day after 14 days with other components of the diet being increased gradually over the same period. A solution of urea (1 part urea; 3 parts water) was mixed with the cassava pulp at the rate of 6 g urea per 1 kg of ensiled pulp. The urea-supplemented pulp was fed ad libitum (expected intake was about 10 kg per 100 kg LW). The rice straw was given in two equal feeds (am and pm). Total requirements were 1500 kg which was procured at the beginning of the experiment.

Data collection and measurements

The cattle were weighed before feeding in the morning at the beginning of the experiment and at 14 day intervals. Feed offered and residues were recorded daily to determine feed intake. Chemical composition of feeds (DM, N, NDF, ash) was determined by AOAC (1990) procedures on representative samples of feed and feed refusals at 14 day intervals.

Table 1. Chemical composition of diet ingredients

Cassava pulp

Brewers' grains

Cassava foliage

Rice straw

DM, %

23.6

24.3

26.6

90.1

As % in DM

Crude protein

2.6

24.8

16.4

3.1

NDF

34.8

32.8

42.8

67.8

ADF

28.7

22.6

33.4

43.1

Ash

4.48

6.3

9.7

13.6

Methane in eructed gases

After 90 days the cattle were confined individually in a gas-proof chamber (a bamboo frame covered with polyethylene) for sampling of eructed gases and residual air in the chamber. Measurements of the concentrations of methane and carbon dioxide were taken continuously over a 10 minute period, using a Gasmet infra-red meter (GASMET 4030; Gasmet Technologies Oy, Pulttitie 8A, FI-00880 Helsinki, Finland), following the procedure outlined by Madsen et al (2010).

Statistical analysis

Mean values for effects of supplementation on weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion were compared using the general linear model (GLM) option of the analysis of variance software in Minitab (2000). Sources of variation in the model were: treatments, replicates and error. Quadratic equations were fitted to the data to demonstrate trends in responses (y) of live-weight gain and feed conversion against dietary levels of brewers’ grains (x); and between methane: carbon dioxide ratio (y) and percent cassava foliage in the diet (x).


Results

Growth and feed conversion

The 16.4% crude protein in the DM of the harvested cassava foliage (Table 1) was similar to the value of 17.3% reported by Thanh et al (2013) for cassava foliage fed to goats in Vietnam, and reflected the presence of petioles and young stems, along with the leaves, in the harvested foliage. Due to the lower content of crude protein in the cassava foliage (16.4% in DM) compared with the brewers’ grains (24.8% in DM), the overall level of crude protein in the diet DM increased from 9.90 to 13.0% % as the level of brewers’ grains was increased (Table 2).. However, despite these differences the overall DM intake was not affected by the changing ratio of cassava foliage to brewers’ grains (Table 2; Figure 1).

Figure 1. Effect of varying the offer levels of cassava foliage (CF) and
brewers’ grains (BG) on the components of the diet DM consumed
Photo 3. A typical animal from treatment BG0-CF4, showing the excellent beef conformation
after fattening on cassava pulp-urea, fresh cassava foliage and rice straw

There was a quadratic relationship between the rate of live weight and the proportion of brewers’ grains in the diet DM, with the maximum growth rate being recorded when the brewers’ grains provided 15% of the diet DM, thereafter declining (Figure 2). There was a similar relationship between level of brewers’ grains and DM feed conversion with the optimum value at about 15% of brewers’ grains in the diet DM (Figure 3).

Table 2. Mean values for feed intake, crude protein in the diet and relative proportions of brewers’ grains (BG) and cassava foliage (CF) in the diet of “Yellow” cattle fed ad libitum ensiled cassava pulp-urea with cassava foliage replacing ensiled brewers’ grains (1 kg/d of rice straw fed on all treatments)

CF4

BG1:CF3

BG2:CF2

BG4

SEM

p

DM intake, g/d

Cassava pulp

1399

1393

1323

1379

52

0.99

Brewers’ grains

0

287

534

1140

76

Cassava foliage

987

748

467

0

37

Rice straw

889

889

889

889

Total

3275

3317

3213

3408

132

0.77

% in diet DM

Crude protein

9.94

10.8

11.4

13.0

Brewers’ grains

0.0

8.7

16.6

33.5



Table 3. Mean values for feed intake, change in live weight and DM feed conversion for “Yellow” cattle fed ad libitum ensiled cassava pulp-urea with cassava foliage (CF) replacing ensiled brewers’ grains (BG) (1 kg/d of rice straw fed on all treatments)

CF4

BG1:CF3

BG2:CF2

BG4

SEM

p

DM intake, g/d

3275

3317

3213

3408

132

0.77

Live weight, kg

    Initial

115

116

114

117

10.9

0.99

    Final

166

177

173

170

11.4

0.92

ADG, g/d

528

654

625

563

105

0.83

DM conversion#

6.74

5.59

5.58

6.16

1.06

0.84

# kg feed DM/kg live weight gain



Figure 2. Growth rates of “Yellow” cattle fed cassava pulp/urea and increasing
amounts of brewers’ grains replacing fresh cassava foliage
Figure 3. DM feed conversion of “Yellow” cattle fed cassava pulp/urea and
increasing amounts of brewers’ grains replacing fresh cassava foliage
Methane: carbon dioxide ratio in eructed breath of the cattle

TThe ratio of methane to carbon dioxide (in the mixture of eructed gas and air in the plastic-enclosed chambers in which the cattle were confined individually over 10 minute periods) declined with a curvilinear trend as the fresh cassava foliage replaced brewers’ grains in the diet (Table 4; Figure 4).

Table 4. Mean values for the ratio methane: carbon dioxide in mixed eructed gases: air from “Yellow” cattle fed cassava pulp/urea and increasing amounts of fresh cassava foliage replacing brewers’ grains

Cassava foliage, % in diet DM

SEM

p

0

15

23

30

CH4:CO2

  0.018a

0.0049b

0.003b

0.002b

0.001

<0.001



Figure 4. Increasing the proportions of fresh cassava foliage replacing brewers’ grains
reduced the methane: carbon dioxide ratio in mixed eructed breath and air


Discussion

The benefits from brewers’ grains, added to a cattle fattening diet based on cassava pulp-urea-cassava foliage, were first demonstrated by Phanthavong et al (2016b), when replacing 50% of the cassava foliage by brewers’ grains (DM basis) led to almost doubling of the growth rate. In terms of diet composition this represented concentrations in the diet DM of brewers’ grains of 20% and cassava foliage 20%. In the present experiment the optimum combination appeared to be of the order of 9% brewers’ grains and 23% of cassava foliage (in diet DM). The two experiments cannot be directly compared as in the research of Phanthavong et al (2016b) the cassava was a “bitter” variety whereas in our study the cassava was a ”sweet” variety. Phuong et al (2016, personal communication) reported major benefits in growth of cattle (from zero to 600 g/day) when brewers’ grains (at only 4% of the diet DM) were added to a similar diet of cassava pulp-urea-cassava foliage. In this case the cassava was a bitter variety. It was also observed that urinary excretion of thiocyanate was substantially reduced by supplementation with the brewers’ grains. These authors concluded that the benefits from the small amounts of brewers’ grains (4% of diet DM) possibly were due to a “prebiotic” effect of this supplement in reducing the sub-clinical toxicity caused by the cyanogenic glucosides in the cassava foliage.

Discussion as to the nature of the chemical entities in brewers’ grains that could be responsible for the apparent “prebiotic” action of this supplement is: (i) beyond the scope of this article; and (ii) requires more exhaustive research. Several in vitro studies have demonstrated that incorporation in the fermentation media of leaves from bitter, rather than sweet, cassava led to reduced production of methane (Phuong Le Binh 2012; Phanthavong et al 2015). The implication is that the generation of HCN in the in vitro or in vivo fermentation media, derived from the cyanogenic glucosides in the cassava leaves, is the direct cause of the toxicity to methane-producing organisms, as was demonstrated by Smith et al (1985) in the anaerobic biodigestion of cassava root waste. Thus feeding bitter rather than sweet cassava foliage, and increasing the proportion of cassava foliage in the diet, will have the effect of increasing the potential for release of HCN in the fermentation medium, either in vitro or in vivo. The dramatic reduction in methane production observed in the present experiment as the proportion of cassava foliage in the diet was increased, corroborates this hypothesis.


Conclusions


Acknowledgements

This research was done by the senior author as part of the requirements for the MSc degree in Animal Production "Improving Livelihood and Food Security of the people in Lower Mekong Basin through Climate Change Mitigation" in Cantho University, Vietnam. The senior author expresses gratitude to the MEKARN II project, supported by Sida, for financial support for this research.


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Received 25 July 2016; Accepted 13 January 2017; Published 1 February 2017

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