Substitution of Leucaena hay for oil seed cake meal in total mixed rations for goats
This study investigated the effects of incorporating different protein sources (oil seed cakes versus Leucaena leucocephala hay) in a total mixed ration (TMR) on intake, digestibility, growth and carcass meat quality of Saanen goats. Sixteen Saanen male goats were allocated to TMR diets formulated with or without L. leucocephala hay at 25% of total dry matter (DM). The TMRs were formulated to be iso-nitrogenous, isocaloric and iso-neutral detergent fibre using two sources of crude protein from Leucaena hay or oilseed cake meal (OSCM), which is a blend of soybean, sunflower and cottonseed cake meal. Data were collected on nutrient digestibility and carcass quality parameters. The goats fed TMR with Leucaena had greater (P <0.05) dry matter intake compared with those fed the control diet. In contrast, the digestibility of DM, organic matter, crude protein, neutral detergent fibre, acid detergent fibre and feed conversion ratio did not differ (P >0.05) between the two dietary treatments. Between treatments, no differences were detected for slaughter bodyweight, empty bodyweight carcass weight, and dressing percentage. Nor were differences detected (P >0.05) for cooking loss percentage, back fat cover, and area of eye muscle (longissimus dorsi) and WarnerBratzler shear force between goats fed the two TMR diets. Replacing a portion of oilseed cake meal at 15% DM with Leucaena hay at 25% DM in TMR for Saanen goats would help rural farmers to reduce the cost of feeding.
Keywords: body composition, digestibility, feed intake, growth, meat quality