Comparison of Novel Low Cost Filter Bags With Existing Commercial Brands in Determining The Chemical Composition of Feeds
The effect of forage cell wall or fibre content on feed intake and ruminant performance has influenced the development of multiple analytical methods including traditional extractive, gravimetric and near infrared spectroscopy to understand fibre distribution in forages prior animal feeding. ANKOM Fibre Analyser appears to be one of the wet chemistry methods reported with numerous advantages e.g. using one vessel to analyse many samples silt in filter bags at a time, high accuracy and precision, reduced error, reduced labour, fast and cost effective compared to other methods. However, the cost of filter bags (about 1.2$/bag) remain a greater worry to researchers especially in developing countries. This study investigated novel low cost bags (0.5$/bag) as an alternative to commercial filter bags (CFB) for feed fibre analysis. Four feed samples (Lucerne (medicago sativa), Acacia (acacia mearnsii), Maize grain and Maize Stover (zea mays)) were heat sealed in CFB and novel low cost bag (NLB) for neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF), acid detergent lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose determination using the ANKOM2000 Fibre Analyser. Fibre analysis differed (P<0.05) between the two analytical bags. The fibre contents (NDF and ADF) were smaller (P<0.05) for NLB than CFB. However, both CFB and NLB were able to rank feed in the same order according to their fibre content. Although the results showed that NLB are less than 60% efficient compared to CFB, more research is required to improve the quality of the bags as it about 59.8% less expensive than CFB.
Keywords- Feed evaluation technology, fibre