This study was conducted in order to measure the nutritional value, as ruminant food, of three range plants (Dactylic glomerata, Onobrychis sativa and Setaria galauca), that were collected completely random from north of Iran (Guilan). Chemical analysis and in vitro gas production technique were used as the base for that evaluation. The chemical composition in term of ash, ether extract (EE), crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), non-fibrous carbohydrates (NFC), nitrogen free extract (NFE), crude fiber (CF) and organic material (OM) have significant differences (p < 0.05) among D. glomerata, O. sativa and S. galauca. CP were ranged from 8 (S. galauca) to 24% (O. sativa), and ADF from 37.8 (O. sativa) to 67.45% (S. galauca). Amount of fermentable fraction (b) were ranged from D. glomerata (68.53 ml), O. sativa (66.09 ml) and S. galauca (49.5 ml). Potential gas production (a+b) were ranged from D. glomerata (63.89 ml), O. sativa (63.39 ml) and S. galauca (47.4 ml). This is due to their high content of CP and low content of ADF. Therefore, according to the potential gas production performance, D. glomerata was ranked higher than the two other plants. The higher values obtained for the potential gas production in the D. glomerata and O. sativa indicate a better nutrient availability for rumen microorganisms. Most of chemical compounds have significant correlation with gas production factors such as fermentable part fraction (b) and potential gas production (a+b).
Key words: Range plant, nutritive value, gas production, chemical, correlation.
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