Piliostigma thonningii leaves as dry season feed supplement for West African dwarf goats
A persistent issue with ruminant production during the dry season in the tropics is scarcity of forages. Producers are faced with the search for alternative feed supplements to address this issue without compromising productivity. Acceptability of Piliostigma thonningii as dry season feed supplement to West African dwarf (WAD) goat was investigated in this study. The WAD goats (n=15) were divided into three treatments of five goats each in a completely randomized design. The animals were fed with Panicum maximum without supplementation at 100% (T1), 90% Panicum maximum+10% Piliostigma thonningii (T2) and 80% Panicum maximum+20% Piliostigma thonningii (T3). Fresh water was also made available throughout the trial that lasted six weeks. Chemical analysis of the forages was observed while feed intake, weight gain and nutrient digestibility were monitored. Results showed that Piliostigma thonningii had a higher (15.25%) crude protein and lower (57.38%) neutral detergent fibre contents than the grass. Both had comparable energy values. Piliostigma thonningii had relatively high mineral contents while the anti-nutrient contents of phytate and oxalate were relatively low. Although the crude protein intake increased with increasing levels of supplementation, the total dry matter intake was not favoured beyond 10% level of Piliostigma thonningii level. It can be concluded that there was no advantage in feeding West African dwarf goat Piliostigma thonningii beyond 10% level.
Keywords: Piliostigma thonningii, West African dwarf goat, Panicum maximum