Evaluation of Clitoria, Gliricidia and Mucuna as nitrogen supplements to Napier grass basal diet in relation to the performance of lactating Jersey cows
Egerton University, P.O. Box 536 Njoro, Kenya; KARI Mtwapa, P.O. Box 16-80109, Mtwapa, Kenya
A study was carried out at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute Mtwapa in Coastal lowland Kenya to evaluate the effects of supplementing Napier grass variety Bana (Pennisetum purpureum) with Clitoria ternatea (Clitoria), Gliricidia sepium (Gliricidia) and Mucuna pruriens (Mucuna) on feed intake, diet digestibility and milk yield of lactating Jersey cows. Clitoria and Mucuna were compared with Gliricidia; a widely studied nitrogen supplement to roughage-based diets in dairy rations in coastal Kenya. Twelve lactating Jersey cows in their mid lactation were assigned to four groups balanced for initial milk yield and live weight in a completely randomised design. One group was fed Napier grass ad libitum and 3 kg of maize bran daily (control). The remaining three groups were fed the control diet supplemented with 8 kg of fresh Clitoria, Gliricidia or Mucuna. Mucuna had lower CP (180 g kg- 1) concentration compared to Gliricidia (232 g kg- 1) and Clitoria (218 g kg- 1). Tannin concentration was higher in Gliricidia compared to the other legumes. They were however below the critical level of 6% hence were not expected to have any negative effect on animal performance. The total dry matter intake was not affected by legume supplementation (P > 0.05). Legume supplementation had no significant effect on organic and dry matter digestibilities (P > 0.05). Nitrogen supplementation (P < 0.05) increased daily milk yield by 20%, 27.5% and 32.5% for cows fed Gliricidia, Clitoria and Mucuna respectively. Results from this study show that Mucuna and Clitoria can give similar lactation performance to Gliricidia as nitrogen supplements Napier grass basal diet. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Animalia; Clitoria; Clitoria ternatea; Gliricidia; Gliricidia sepium; Mucuna; Mucuna deeringiana; Mucuna pruriens; Pennisetum glaucum; Pennisetum purpureum; Zea mays