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Seasonal Changes in Chemical Composition, Preference and <i>In Sacco</i> Degradation of Eight Different Fodder Tree leaves

F. O. Sarkwa
T. Adogla-Bessa
E. C. Timpong-Jones
L. K. Adjorlolo


Livestock farmers in the Coastal Savannah of Ghana cut and feed leaves of various naturally occurring fodder tree species to supplement livestock diets, especially in the dry season. The aim of this study was to determine the seasonal changes in chemical composition, rumen degradation characteristics and preference of sheep for eight common indigenous fodder tree leaves, and ascertain their contribution to livestock production. Fodder leaves from Albizzia lebbek (AL), Baphia nitida (BN), Blighia sapida (BS), Ficus exasperata (FE), Ficus polita (FP), Morinda lucida (ML), Moringa oleifera (MO) and Spondias mombin (SM) were used. Fresh leaves were sampled in the wet and dry seasons to determine changes in seasonal chemical composition. Four Djallonke sheep (two males and two females) of average weight of 27.3 kg ±0.22 were offered fresh fodder leaves in a cafeteria system to determine preference. In sacco dry matter (DM) degradation was determined using four fistulated sheep in a repeated atin suare design. Seasonal D crude protein C acid detergent fire D neutral detergent fire D and lignin content of the fodder leaves ranged fro 319.7 to 862.7 g kg-1, 150.0 to 359.2 g kg -1 D . to . g g -1 DM , 277.5 to 718.3 g kg -1 DM and . to . g g-1 DM respectively. Crude protein content of, AL and FP were higher for the wet season than dry season but BS had similar trend for both seasons. The soluble and potentially degradable fractions of D ranged from 113.3-216.8 and 142.9-627.7 g kg-1. It is concluded that the four most preferred fodder species were AL, FE, SM and MO. Their CP contents regardless of the season were higher than the minimum level considered as adeuate for oderate ruinant production. t is epected that these fodder leaves ill contriute to ypass protein and nitrogen retention and suseuently lead to eight gain hen fed to sheep.

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eISSN: 2661-9040
print ISSN: 0855-4307