The effect of supplementing Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) hay with Acacia tortilis leaves and pods mixture on intake, digestibility and growth performance of goats
Livestock Research for Rural Development
Department of Animal Science, Egerton University, P.O Box 536, Njoro, Kenya; Egerton University, Division of Research and Extension, P. O. Box 536, Njoro, Kenya
An experiment was conducted for 63 days to examine the effects of supplementation of Rhodes grass hay (H) with mixtures of leaves and pods of Acacia tortilis on intake, digestion and growth performance of Small East African goats (SEAG). Twenty four SEAG of 18±4 kg BW, 9months old were assigned to six diets including ad libitum Rhodes grass hay alone (H) or H supplemented with various proportions of pods, leaves and mixture of the two as follows; 19 g DM/kg W0.75 pods (P), 19 g DM/kgW0.75 leaves (L), 9.5:9.5 g DM/kg W0.75 pods +leaves (PL), 14:5 g DM/kg W 0.75 pods +leaves (PPL) or 5:14 g DM/kg W0.75 pods +leaves (PLL). The diets were allocated to the goats in a completely randomised design, with 4 goats per treatment. Dry matter intake, digestibility, nitrogen retention and live weight gains were all increased by supplementation. There was an indication of a better response in intake and weight gains when the hay was supplemented with equal proportion (9.5 g DM/kg W0.75) of pods and the leaves. It is concluded that mixtures of pods and leaves give more benefits than when either is offered singly to goats fed a basal diet of grass hay.
Acacia; Acacia tortilis; Capra hircus; Chloris gayana