Dry Matter and Crude Protein Degradability ofMopane Worm (Imbrasia belina) in Rumen of Steers

Document Type: Research Article


1 Department of Animal Science and Production, Botswana College of Agriculture, P / bag 0027, Gaborone, Botswana

2 Department of Agricultural Engineering and Land Planning, Botswana College of Agriculture, P / bag 0027, Gaborone, Botswana


Three cannulated Tswana steers were used to investigate the rumen degradability of mopane worm (Imbrasia belina) by measuring the amount of dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) disappearing at incubation periods up to 72 h. The effective degradability (ED) of DM and CP in the rumen was calculated at outflow rates of 0.03 / h (ED0.03) and 0.05 / h(ED0.05). Rumen degradable CP (RDP) was estimated as the amount of CP x ED 0.05 and rumen undegraded protein (RUP) was calculated as CP minus RDP. The soluble DM, slowly degradable DM, ED0.03 and ED 0.05,and degradation rate of evacuated (i.e. fresh leaves and faecal material removed) mopane (EM) and intact mopane (IM) were similar (P>0.05). Water soluble protein fraction, slowly degradable protein, degradation rate and RDP were also similar (P>0.05) between EM and IM samples. However, EM had significantly more (P<0.01) RUP than IM samples. The current results support previously observations that removal of gut contents from mopane worms increased CP, consequently improving RUP. Further research is needed to evaluate the effects of roasting on degradability of EM and IM as well as the availability of amino acids post-ruminally.


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