Effects of Juniperus species and stage of maturity on nutritional, in vitro digestibility, and plant secondary compound characteristics. Academic Article uri icon


  • Rising feed costs and recurring feed shortages necessitate the investigation into alternative and underutilized feed resources. Nutritional characteristics of species are either unknown or limited to leaves and ground material from small stems. Therefore, the objective was to quantify nutritional characteristics, 48-h true IVDMD (tIVDMD), microbial gas production, and secondary compound characteristics of entire woody plant material of 4 species-, , , and -at immature and mature stages of growth. Immature plants had greater CP concentrations and lower NDF concentrations ( < 0.001) than mature plants regardless of species. Mature plants also had greater ( < 0.001) concentrations of ADF compared with immature plants with the exception of . In general, immature , , and had greater ( < 0.02) tIVDMD and total 48-h and asymptotic gas production than mature plants. Immature and plants were more digested (tIVDMD; < 0.001) than immature and , but tIVDMD did not differ in mature plant material across species. Condensed tannins (CT) were greater ( < 0.001) in immature and than mature plants; differences in CT concentrations among immature species were also detected ( < 0.04). Volatile oil yields were similar across maturity and species with 1 exception: immature yielded more ( < 0.02) volatile oil than mature material. Volatile oil composition across species varied and contained a range of 65 to 70 terpene compounds. The dominant terpenes across species were generally greater ( < 0.05) in immature vs. mature plant material with the exception of . Labdane acids were negligible in , , and and greater in ( < 0.001). Ground material from mature juniper species, although inferior in nutritional quality compared with immature plants, is comparable to traditional low-quality roughage ingredients. Given that has been successfully fed in lamb feedlot diets, the similarities of , and suggest that all three species have potential to be effective roughage ingredients.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Stewart, W. C., Whitney, T. R., Scholljegerdes, E. J., Naumann, H. D., Cherry, N. M., Muir, J. P., ... Estell, R. E.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Stewart, WC||Whitney, TR||Scholljegerdes, EJ||Naumann, HD||Cherry, NM||Muir, JP||Lambert, BD||Walker, JW||Adams, RP||Welch, KD||Gardner, DR||Estell, RE

publication date

  • August 2015