Evaluation of nutrient contents of Gmelina arborea leaves as animal feed in the tropics
An evaluation of chemical and mineral composition different forms of Gmelina arborea (GA) leaves was investigated. Experiment 1 involve the determination of the chemical composition, mineral and anti-nutrient of green, yellow and brown leaves of GA. In experiment 2, a free choice intake study was carried out using fifteen adult West African Dwarf Sheep to determine the coefficient of preference (CoP) of the different leaves.Results revealed that the chemical composition of the leaves varied significantly (p.<0.05). The dry matter ranged from 80.15-91.24 % in green and brown leaves respectively, while the crude protein ranged from 24.4-26.44 % in brown and green leaves respectively. The neutral detergent fibre ranged from 60.92-6.77 % in green and brown leaves respectively. Value of all minerals analyzed did not differ significantly, but was within the tolerable limit for sheep consumption. Similar trend was observed for all anti-nutrients investigated. The CoP showed that all the different forms of leaves were accepted, but the green leaves were mostly preferred. These result showed that the different forms of Gmelina arborea leaves can be used as feed supplement for ruminants in the Tropics.
Key words: Acceptability, Gmelina arborea, leaves, minerals, nutrients, secondary metabolites