Effect of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and cumin (Carum carvi) powder and Saccharomyces cerevisiae in comparison with monensin on in vitro gas production parameters, protozoa population and microbial enzyme activity of sheep

Document Type : Research Paper


1 M.Sc. Student, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lorestan University, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lorestan University, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lorestan University, Iran

4 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zabol, Iran


The aim of present research was to investigate effects of supplementation lambs’ fattening diet with fennel and cumin powder and Saccharomyces cerevisiaein comparison with monensin on in vitro gas production and fermentation parameters, nutrient digestibility, microbial enzyme activity and protozoa population. Seven experimental diets were 1) control diet (basal diet) and supplementing control diet with 2) 8 g fennel (F) + 8 g cumin (C) powder per kg DM (1 to 1 ratio), 3) 12 g F + 4 g C (75 to 25 ratio), 4) 5 g yeast per kg diet DM, 5) 5 g yeast + 8 g F + 8 g C (1 to 1 ratio), 6) 5 g yeast + 12 g F + 4 g C (75 to 25 ratio), and 7) 30 mg monensin per kg diet DM. Diets were incubated in rumen liquor in a completely randomized design. The highest gas production during 24 and 48 h of incubation, total gas production, short chain fatty acids, organic matter digestibility and estimated metabolizable energy were observed in the diet containing yeast along with F and C (75 to 25 ratio) compared to control diet (P <0.05). Diet containing yeast along with the same ratio of F and C resulted in the highest gas production during 72 h of incubation, gas production from the insoluble, but fermentable fractions (b), filter paper degrading and α-amylase activities compared to control diet and diet containing monensin (P <0.05). The highest total protozoa population (P <0.10) and sub-family of Diplodiniinae (P 0.05) was observed in control diet compared to diet supplemented with yeast along with the 1 to 1 ratio of F and C.  In conclusion, we found that cumin and fennel powders along with saccharomyces cerevisiae are promising alternatives to monensin in lambs fattening diets, and that their dietary inclusion improved gas production and nutrients’ degradability by modifying rumen fermentation in vitro.  


  1. Agarwal, N., Agarwal, I., Kamra, D. N. & Chaudhary, L. C. (2000). Diurnal variations in the activities of hydrolytic enzymes in different fractions of rumen contents of Murrah buffalo. Journal of Applied Animal Research, 18, 73-80.
  2. Agarwal, N., Shekar, C., Kumar, R., Chaudhary, L. C. & Kamra, D. N. (2009). Effect of peppermint    (Menthapiperita) oil on in vitro methanogenesis and fermentation of feed with buffalo rumen liquor. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 148, 321-327.
  3. AOAC. (1990). Official Methods of Analysis. 15th ed. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Arlington, VA.
  4. Benchaar, C., Petit, H. V., Berthiaume, R., Ouellet, D. R. & Chiquette, J. (2003). Effects of essential oil supplement on ruminal fermentation, rumen microbial populations and in Sacco degradation of dry matter and nitrogen in the rumen of lactating dairy cows. Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 83, 637. (Abstr)
  5. Benchaar, C. (2008). Effects of cinnamaldehyde, garlic and juniper berry essential oils on rumen fermentation, blood metabolites, growth performance, and carcass characteristics of growing lambs. Livestock Science, 117, 215-224.
  6. Blümmel, M., Steingss, H. & Becker, K. (1997). The relationship between in vitro gas production, in vitro microbial biomass yield and 15N incorporation and its implications for the prediction of voluntary feed intake of roughages. British Journal of Nutrition, 77, 911-921.
  7. Broderick, G. & Kang, J. H. (1980). Automated simultaneous determination of ammonia and total amino acids in ruminal fluid and in vitro media. Journal of Dairy Science, 63, 64-75.
  8. Cardozo, P. W., Calsamiglia, S., Ferret, A. & Kamel, C. (2005). Screening for effects of natural extracts at different pH on in vitro rumen fermentation of high-concentrate diet for beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science, 83, 2572-2579.
  9. Castillejos, L. Calsamiglia, S. & Ferret, A. (2006). Effect of essential oil active compounds on rumen microbial fermentation and nutrient flow in in vitro systems. Journal Dairy Science, 89(7), 2649-58.
  10. Chaucheyras-Durand, F., Walker, N. D. & Bach, A. (2008). Effects of active dry yeasts on the rumen microbial ecosystem. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 145, 5-26.
  11. Cheng, K. J. & McAllister, T. A. (1997). Compartmentation in the rumen. In The rumen microbial ecosystem (eds PN Hobson and CS Stewart), pp. 492-522. Chapman and Hall, London.
  12. Dehority, B. A. (2004). In vitro determination of generation times for Entodinium exiguum, Ophryoscolex purkynjei and Eudiplodinium maggii. Journal Eukaryote Microbial, 51, 333-338.
  13. Jahani Azizabadi, H. (2014). The effect of some natural essential oils on digestive microbial actions and production of rumen methane-in vitro and in vitro. Ph.D. Thesis, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran. (in Farsi)
  14. Getachew, G., Makkar, H. P. S. & Becker, K. (2002). Tropical browses: contents of phenolic compounds, in vitro gas production and stoichiometric relationship between short chain fatty acid and in vitro gas production. Journal of Agricultural Science, 139, 341-352.
  15. Greathead, H. (2003). Plant and plants extracts for improving animal prodactivity. Journal of proceeding of the Nutrition society, 62, 279-290.
  16. Hagher Al-Sadat, B., Bernard, F., Sheriff, S. & Sheikh, M. (2010). Effect of effective compounds and antioxidant properties of essential oil of Yazd black yeast. Journal of Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, 18, 326-338. (in Farsi)
  17. Hooks, S. E., Wright, A. D. & McBride, B. W. (2010). Methanogens: methane producers of the rumen and mitigation strategies. Archaea, 20, 1-11.
  18. Hussain, I. & Cheeke, P. R. (1995). Effect of Yucca Scidigera extract on rumen and blood profiles of steers fed concentrate or roughage-based diets. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 51, 231-242.
  19. Khiaosa-ard, R. & Zebeli, Q. (2014). Meta-analysis of the effects of essential oils and their bioactive compounds on rumen fermentation characteristics and feed efficiency in ruminants. Journal of Animal Science, 91-1819-1830.
  20. Klevenhusen, F. Zeitz, J. O., Duval, S., Kreuzer, M. & Soliv, C. R. (2011). Garlic oil and its principal component diallyl disulfide fail to mitigate methane, but improve digestibility in sheep. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 166, 356-363.
  21. Kongmun, P., Wanapat, M., Pakdee, P. & Navanukraw, C. (2010). Effect of coconut oil and garlic powder on in vitro fermentation using gas production technique. Livestock Science, 127, 38-44.
  22. Marten, G. C. & Barnes, R. F. (1980). Prediction of energy digestibility of forages with in vitro rumen fermentation and fungal enzymes systems. P 61-71. In Pidgen, W.J., C.C. Balch, and M. Graham, (ed.) Standardization of Analytical Methodology for Feeds. International Development Research Center, Ottawa.
  23. McIntosh, F. M., Williams, P., Losa, R., Wallace, R. J., Beever, D. A. & Newbold, C. J. (2003). Effects of essential oils on ruminal microorganisms and their protein metabolism. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 69, 5011-5014.
  24. Menke, K. H. & Steingass, H. (1988). Estimation of the energetic feed value obtained from chemical analysis and gas production using rumen fluid. Animal Research and Development, 28, 7-55.
  25. Mirzaei, S., Moeini, M. M., Hozhabri, F. & Nooriyan Soroor, M. E. (2014). The in vitro effects of three medicinal plants on ruminal fermentation parameters and methane reduction. MSc Thesis. Faculty of Agriculture, Razi University, Iran. (in Farsi)
  26. National Research Council. (2007). Nutrient Requirements of Small Ruminants: Sheep, Goats, Cervide, and New World Camelids. National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, USA, p. 362.
  27. Newbold, C. J., McIntosh, F. M., Williams, P., Riccardo, L. & Wallace, R. J. (2004). Effects of a specific blend of essential oil compounds on rumen fermentation. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 114, 105-112.
  28. Patra, A. K., Kamra, D. N. & Agarwal, N. (2006). Effect of plant extracts on in vitro methanogenesis, enzyme activities and fermentation of feed in rumen liquor of buffalo. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 128, 276-291.
  29. Ørskov, E. R. & McDonald, I. (1979). The estimation of protein degradability in the rumen from incubation measurements weighted according to rate of passage. Journal of Agricultural Science, 92, 499-503.
  30. Raghuvansi, S. K. S., Prasad, R., Tripathi, M. K., Mishra, A. S., Chaturvedi, O. H., Misra, A. K., Saraswat, B. L. & Jakhmola, R. C. (2007). Effect of complete feed blocks or grazing and supplementation of lambs on performance, nutrient utilisation, and rumen fermentation and rumen microbial enzymes. Animal, 1, 221-226.
  31. Russell, J. B., Strobel, H. J. & Chen, G. (1988). Enrichment and isolation of a ruminal bacterium with a very high specific activity of ammonia production. Applied Environmental Microbiology, 54, 872-877.
  32. Russel, J. B. (2002). Rumen Microbiology and Its Role in Ruminant Nutrition. J.B. Russell Publication Co., Ithaca, NY.
  33. Santos, M. B., Robinson, P. H., Williams, P. & Losa, R. (2010). Effects of addition of an essential oil complex to the diet of lactating dairy cows on whole tract digestion of nutrients and productive performance. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 157, 64-71.
  34. SAS. (2001). User’s Guide. Version 9. SAS Institute, Cary, NC.
  35. Selinger, L. B., Forsberg, C. W. & Cheng, K. J. (1996). The rumen: a unique source of enzymes for enhancing livestock production. Anaerobe, 2, 263-284.
  36. Silva, A. T., Wallace, R. J. & Orskov, E. R. (1987). Use of particle-bound microbial activity to predict the rate and extent of fibre degradation in the rumen. British Journal of Nutrition, 57, 407-415.
  37. Taghizadeh, M. (2017). The effect of powdered fennel, cumin and yeast on yield, carcass characteristics, blood metabolites and rumen ecosystems of fattening lambs fed with high concentrate rations. Ph.D. thesis. Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zabol, Iran. (in Farsi)
  38. Talebzadeh, R., Alipour, D., Saharkhiz, M. J., Azarfar, A. & Malecky, M. (2012). Effect of essential oils of Zataria multiflora on in vitro rumen fermentation, protozoal population, growth and enzyme activity of anaerobic fungus isolated from Mehraban sheep. Aninal Feed Science and Technology, 172, 115-124.
  39. Tilly, J. M. A. & Terry, R. A. (1963). A two stage technique for in vitro digestion of forage crops. Journal of the British Grassland Society, 18, 104-111.
  40. Van Soest, P. J., Robertson, J. B. & Lewis, A. (1991). Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber and non starch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. Journal of Dairy Science 74, 3583-3597.
  41. Wallace, R. J. (2004). Antimicrobial properties of plant secondary metabolites. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 63, 621-629.
  42. Yang, W. Z., Benchaar, C., Ametaj, B. N., Chaves, A. V., He, M. L. & McAllister, T. A. (2007). Effects of garlic and juniper berry essential oils on ruminal fermentation and on the site and extent of digestion in lactating cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 90, 5671-5681.