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Original Article

Investigation of the Nutritional Potential of a Pasture Plant Species (Cyperus rotundus L.) at Different Growth Stages Under In Vitro and Standard Laboratory Studies



Cyperus rotundus L. (C. rotundus) is a medicinal plant and a species of sedge (Cyperaceae family) that grows in different world rangelands, especially in Iran. The nutritional aspects of this plant have not been scientifically investigated by animal science nutritionists. Therefore, the C. rotundus’s nutritional potential at three growth stages by different standard laboratory methods was investigated. Different amounts of chemical-mineral compositions were observed among the various growth stages of C. rotundus. The dry matter (18.86–25.15 % of fresh weight), crude protein (10.51–14.40 % of DM), neutral detergent fiber (27.42–33.40 %), acid detergent fiber (18.75–24.83 %), ash (10.95–13.40 %), and non-fiber carbohydrates (41.01–45.14 %) contents of C. rotundus differed among three growth stages (P < 0.05). The different contents of minerals (sodium: 2.37–2.88 g/kg of DM; calcium: 4.19–4.77 g; phosphorus: 1.20–1.36 g; magnesium: 2.50–2.99 g; potassium: 27.10–29.33 g; manganese: 45.13–54.12 mg/kg of DM; iron: 470–527 mg; and zinc: 13.40–18.07 mg) were also observed among three growth stages of C. rotundus. The highest content of potential gas production (47.66 ml/200 mg of DM) was observed in C. rotundus at the vegetative stage (P < 0.05). The amounts of 24 h dry matter digestibility (47.97 %), 24 h organic dry matter digestibility (43.30 %), metabolizable energy (4.54 MJ/kg of DM), net energy for lactation (2.14 MJ/kg of DM), and dry matter intake (4.38 % of body weight) were the highest in the vegetative stage of C. rotundus. Regarding C. rotundas’s relatively favorite potential nutritional, it was concluded that it can meet some of the nutrient requirements of small ruminants at the maintenance level. The vegetative stages exhibited better nutritional values compared to the other two growth stages. This plant can be nutritionally comparable to corn silage as a commonly used forage in small ruminants’ feeding.