Department of Animal Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
Receive Date: 29 March 2011,
Revise Date: 16 July 2011,
Accept Date: 11 August 2011
The study was conducted to compare the effects of feeding Acacia auriculata (AA),Gmelina arborea (GA), Albizia lebbeck (AL) and Butryospermum parkii (BP) tree forages as a sole feed for Nigerian goats. Four goats (Yankasa) averaging one year and weighing 11.7±1.8 kg were used to measure the feed intake, digestibility and nitrogen balance. The leaves were offered ad libitum. Dry matter (DM) intakes were significantly different (P<0.05), with the highest on AL and GA (456.72 and 478.79 g/d respectively) and lowest on AA (155.01 g/d) with intermediate values for BP (207.65 g/d). Total intakes of N were significantly different among the browse plants (P<0.05). Significantly higher intake was observed on BP (125.41 g/d), while statistically similar intake was recorded on AL and GA and least on AA. The lower N intake of 31.54 g/d was observed in AA. The result of the nutrients digestibility showed a significant difference in the nutrients digestibility (P<0.05). BP, GA and AL (80.56, 86.67 and 89.70 respectively) had significantly high digestibility, while AA had significantly lower DM digestibility (75.76). Also, the digestibility of organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP) and crude fiber (CF) followed similar pattern. Nitrogen balance showed significant difference (P<0.05) in fecal N output, AA had higher fecal N (16.76), followed by BP (12.42) and AL and GA had 9.95 and 7.70, respectively. Gmelina arborea,Albizia lebbeck and Butryospermum parkii have potential as protein supplement for Yankasa goats.
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