Nutrient Digestibility and Growth Performance of West African Dwarf (WAD) Goats Fed Foliage Combinations of Moringa oleifera and Gliricidia sepium with Equal Proportions of A Low-cost Concentrate

Olusegun Julius Oyedele, Vincent Olajide Asaolu, Simisola Mercy Odeyinka


Forty growing WAD goats (20 males and 20 females) were used in a 20-week digestion and growth study (complete randomized design) to investigate the potentials of a formulated low-cost concentrate with gliricidia and/or moringa fodder combinations to alleviate the acknowledged dry season nutritional stress often associated with ruminants in tropical environments. Eight animals (4 males and 4 females) were allocated to each of five experimental diets, namely; concentrate with 100 % gliricidia and 100 % moringa respectively (LC:G100M0, LC:G0M100), concentrate with gliricidia and moringa combinations at 75 to 25 %, 50 to 50 % and 25 to 75 % respectively (LC:G75M25, LC:G50M50, LC:G25M75). Performance indicators were nutrient intake, nutrient digestibility coefficients, feed conversion ratios and growth rates. Total DM intake was significantly (P<0.05) higher at LC:G0M100 (85.80 g/kg0.75) relative to LC:G100M0 (74.80 g/kg0.75). Forage combinations resulted in significantly (P<0.05) greater total DM intakes, with LC:G50M50 (92.10 g/kg0.75) having the most significant (P<0.05) effect. For virtually all the nutrient intakes, the least values resulted from LC:G100M0. Critical nutrient (CP, GE) intake values, a number of apparent nutrient digestibility coefficients (CP, TDN), growth performance indices (total weight gain and daily growth rate) and feed utilization efficiency were highest for animals on LC:G0M100. Notwithstanding the overall superiority of LC:G0M100 however, LC:G50M50 would be recommended to resource-limited small ruminant farmers in order to optimize the use of available feed resources. This is in view of non-significant (P>0.05) differences of these two diet combinations in CP intakes (73.90 vs. 71.10 g/d), apparent CP digestibility coefficients (86.00 vs. 84.90 %), TDN values (83.70 vs. 79.50 %), total weight gains (7.18 vs. 6.44 kg) and daily growth rates (51.30 vs. 46.00 g/d).

Keywords: Digestibility, dry season nutritional stress, Gliricidia sepium, growth performance, low-cost concentrate, Moringa oleifera, WAD goats

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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