Effects of Feeding Rhodes Grass (Chloris gayana) Hay with Graded Levels of Zizyphus mucronata on Voluntary Feed Intake, Nutrient Utilization, Nitrogen Balance and Body Weight Gains in Growing Small East African Goats
The effects of supplementing Chloris gayana hay with Zizyphus mucronata on feed intake, nutrient utilization, nitrogen balance and bodyweight changes in Small East African Goats was evaluated. Five treatment diets of Z. mucronata were offered in a RCBD graded levels at 0, 15, 20, 25, and 30 g DM per kgW0.75. The CP, NDF and ADF contents of Z. mucronata was 200, 393 and 222g per kg DM, respectively. The DMI ranged between 431 to 638 g/d increasing with supplementation (P<0.05) but digestibility of DM, OM, ADF and NDF was similar. Digestibility of CP was lowest for the control and highest for animals supplemented at 25g per kgW0.75 and the rest were not statistically different. Average daily gains (ADG) were lowest for the control and increased with supplementation being 7.7, 17.5, 34.0, 29.6 and 26.9 g/d, respectively. Rumen ammonia nitrogen ranged from 6.81 to 6.91 mg/100 ml and showed no difference (P>0.05). The nitrogen intake and feacal N excretion differed with treatments (P<0.05) with the highest N retention levels of 7.28 g/d. It is concluded that Z. mucronata can be used as a protein supplement for growing Small East African goats at 20g per kgW0.75 with a potential of gaining 34 g/d.
Nutritive value, Feed intake, Digestibility, Nitrogen balance, Average daily gains.