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In vitro true digestibility, methane, pellet, tobacco straw, tobacco meal
This study aims to determine the nutrient contents, forage quality, in vitro true digestibility and methane production of the pellets prepared using straw and meal of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.). Tobacco stalks (straws) and seeds collected from 25 different locations were used in this study. Daisy incubator was used to determine the in vitro true digestibility. In vitro gas production of the feed was determined using Hohenheim gas test while infrared methane analyzer was used to determine methane production. The study was designed in accordance with the completely randomized design. The results of the study showed that tobacco meal offers higher values in terms of crude protein and ether extract contents, while it offers lower ash, nitrogen free extract contents and cell wall fiber components when compared to tobacco straw (P<0.001). The crude protein content of the feed was found to be 4.69% for tobacco straw and 38.61% for tobacco meal. Tobacco meal outperformed tobacco straw with respect to methane production (P<0.05), organic matter digestibility, energy values and in vitro true digestibility (P<0.001). With respect to relative feed value, tobacco straw is classified under “5-reject” quality class. The condensed tannin contents of tobacco wastes were found to be below the risk limits for ruminants. The results suggest that tobacco straw can be used as an alternative to wheat straw and poor quality hay, while tobacco meal can be used as an alternative for some meals such as cottonseed meal and sunflower seed meal.