Original Research

Preliminary results of in vitro digestion of some plants utilized by Kalahari ungulates

W van Hoven, Elizabeth A Boomker, G. C. de Beer
Koedoe | Supplement | a575 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v27i2.575 | © 1984 W van Hoven, Elizabeth A Boomker, G. C. de Beer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 December 1984 | Published: 01 December 1984

About the author(s)

W van Hoven, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Elizabeth A Boomker, University of Pretoria, South Africa
G. C. de Beer, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

Five species of ungulates are compared with respect to digestibility and energy production of some plants found in their diet. Blue wildebeest prefer Stipagrostis obtusa which is well digested and produces little methane in autumn. However, Schmidtia kalahariensis is a better source of energy for wildebeest during the winter. Stipagrostis obtusa is also well digested by gemsbok, but is not a good energy source for eland. The relationship between volatile fatty acid energy gain and methane energy lost is typical for each ungulate species. Only during spring was a correlation found between the percentage digestibility and percentage protein in the plants and then only for eland and springbok.

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