Effect Of Feeding Hordeum jabatum Hay Supplemented With Leucaena leucocephala On Nutrient Digestibility In Sheep

  • I I Osakwe
  • W Drochner


The fermentation profiles and nutrient digestibility of Leucaena leucocephala as a supplement to Hordeum jabatum hay was investigated using twelve castrated sheep averaging 24.4 ± 2.2 kg body weight (BW). Six of the sheep were fistulated at the rumen and used for ruminal pH, ammonia and volatile fatty acid determination in rumen fluid. Dried leaves of Leucaena leucocephala were offered as supplement at two levels, 25% (diet 2) and 50% (diet 3) of dry matter intake (DMI), replacing Hordeum jabatum hay diet. The basal hay diet without supplementation was diet 1. Rumen lquor was sampledone hour before, and one, three and five hours after the morning feeding. The sheep were subjected to digestibility trial. Sheep on diet 3 had higher (P<0.05) ruminal pH than sheep on diets 1 and 2, respectively. The ruminal ammonia concentration of sheep on diet 2 was superior (P<0.05) to those on diet 1 but not with diet 3. Det 1 had superior (P<0.05) volatile fatty acid concentration than diets 2 and 3, respectively. There were no differences (P>0.05) in the dry matter, organic matter, neutral detergent fibre, acid detergent fibre and hemicellulose intake among treatments. There were however, significant (P<0.05) differences in the digestibility of nutrients among treatments. It was concluded that dried leaves of Leucaena leucocephala has a forage potential for lvestock farmers. It can be classified as a plant of moderate fodder value.

Keywords: Leucaena leucocephala, Rumen parameter, Nutrient digestibility, Wethers

Animal Research International Vol. 1 (3) 2004 pp. 148-152

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eISSN: 1597-3115