In vitro fermentation characteristics and acceptability by West African dwarf goats of some dry season forages

  • OJ Babayemi
Keywords: Grass, legumes, browse trees, preference, gas production, goats.

Abstract

Total weight gained by small ruminants in the rainy season is lost in the dry season due to feed scarcity. Feed supplementation with dry season browse trees, legumes and grasses for ruminants is prudent. Proximate composition, acceptability using twenty four West African dwarf (WAD) goats and in vitro gas production of dry season forages were determined. Crude protein content ranged from 7.9% in Panicum maximum to 25.7% in Leucaena leucocephala. Crude fibre composition was generally high (range 56.8 - 74.1%) among the forages. Pa. maximum, Gliricidia sepium, L. leucocephala and Terminalia catappa were acceptable as coefficient of preference was above unity. Net gas production (NGP) and potential gas (PG) ranged from 41 - 59.7 ml/24 h and 98.5 - 4,545 ml, respectively. Highest (P< 0.05) and lowest (P > 0.05) gas (production were obtained in Gliricidia and Leucaena, respectively. The value for the metabolizable energy (ME) (MJ/kg DM), organic matter digestibility (OMD) (%) and short chain fatty acids (SCFA) (ìml) ranged from 8.31 - 1.88, 57.68 - 81.09 and 0.90 - 1.35, respectively. The ME, OMD and SCFA were highest (P < 0.05) in G. sepium. Methane (ml/200 mg DM) production ranged from 18 – 24, the highest being from G. sepium and the least from Pennisetum purpureum.
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