Feed intake, nutrient digestibility and nitrogen utilization of graded levels of moringa and bamboo leaves by West African Dwarf Goats.
Feed intake, nutrient digesti==bility and nitrogen utilization studies were carried out on Moringa oleifera (M) and Oxytenanthera abysinnica (bamboo) (B) leaves as follows; 100M, 75M:25B, 50M:50B 25M:75B and 100B, with 20 WAD goats, using a randomized complete block design. Moringa inclusion at all levels significantly (P<.05) increased dry 100M and 100B respectively. It also resulted in significantly (P<0.05) higher nutrient digestibilities except for the fibre components, with no significant (P>0.05) differences in DM, OM and NFE digestibilities at the three Moringa inclusion levels. CP digestibility was significantly (P< 0.05) higher at 75% relative to the 25% and 50% Moringa inclusion levels. A significantly (P<0.05) lower nitrogen intake was associated with 100B with no significant (P>0.05) difference observed between 100M and 75M:25B. The nitrogen that was lost in the urine relative to total nitrogen intake decreased significantly (P<0.05) with increasing Moringa levels. Nitrogen retention was negative (-1.64g/ animal/ day) with 100B. Moringa leaves can be combined with bamboo leaves at 75% and 50% Moringa inclusion levels as supplements in WAD goats’ diets as suggested in earlier in vitro studies in our laboratory.
Key words: Moringa, bamboo, West African Dwarf goats, feed intake, nutrient digestibility, nitrogen utilization.