The Effect of Supplementation of Desert Goats on Sorghum straw with Ailanthus excelsa Leaves on Feed Intake, Nutrients Digestibility and Performance in Dilling, South Kordofan, Sudan
Abstract: This study was conducted in Dallanj town, South Kordofan, Sudan, (longitudes 9o-12/ N and latitudes 29 o -31/) with the objective of evaluating effects of supplementation of goats on sorghum straw with Ailanthus excelsa leaves on feed intake, nutrient digestibility and performance. Eighteen bucks of Desert type (6 - 9 months old and weighing 15+ 1.333kg were used. The animals were divided into three similar groups. The first group was offered sorghum straws alone while the second and third groups were fed sorghum straws ad libitum supplemented respectively with 25 and 50 % of daily intake Ailanthus excelsa leaves. Water was provided continuously. Feed intake, live body weight changes and hematological indices were monitored for 60 days. The data was considered as a complete randomized design and analyzed via analysis of variance. Differences among treatments means were detected using least significant difference test. The results indicated that goats on sorghum straws supplemented with 50 % Ailanthus excelsa leaves consumed significantly (P<0.01) higher amount of feed followed by the group on the straw and 25 % tree leaves and finally those on the sorghum straw alone. The daily feed intake of groups was 400, 700 and 1100g for goats on the straw alone, on the straw and 25 % tree leaves and the straw and 50 % tree leaves, respectively. Similarly, the group that was fed sorghum straw and supplemented with 50% tree leaves showed greater live body weight gain (69g/day) followed by the group on the sorghum straw and 25 % tree leaves (51g/day) and finally those on the sorghum straw exclusively (38g/day). Also it was found that all nutrients digestibility coefficients increased significantly (P<0.01) with supplementation of sorghum straw with the tree leaves. It was concluded that supplementation of goats on low quality roughage with Ailanthus excelsa leaves could improve feed intake, nutrients digestibility and bucks performance. Further studies were recommended for using the tree leaves for feeding lactating goats and other ruminant species as well as detection of anti-nutritional factors in the tree leaves and their effects on goats to ensure improvement of the nutritional status of the animals that are dependent on low quality roughage, especially during dry season.
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