Comparison of Indigenous Browses and Sunflower Seed Cake Supplementation on Intake and Growth Performance of Dual-purpose Goats Fed Buffel Grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) Hay

  • Komwihangilo, D.M. (Livestock Production Research Institute, Department of Animal Science and Production, Sokoine University of Agriculture) ;
  • Chenyambuga, S.W. (Department of Animal Science and Production, Sokoine University of Agriculture) ;
  • Lekule, F.P. (Department of Animal Science and Production, Sokoine University of Agriculture) ;
  • Mtenga, L.A. (Department of Animal Science and Production, Sokoine University of Agriculture) ;
  • Muhikambele, V.R.M. (Department of Animal Science and Production, Sokoine University of Agriculture)
  • Received : 2004.09.22
  • Accepted : 2005.02.03
  • Published : 2005.07.01


A study to compare the effects of supplementing Delonix elata, Grewia similis, Tamarindus indica and sunflower seed cake on intake and growth rate of dual-purpose goats fed low quality Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) hay was carried out. Twenty-eight male goats aged five to seven months (mean weight 12.93${\pm}$3.94 kg) were randomly allocated to four dietary groups in a completely randomised design. The diets were hay plus Grewia similis, hay plus Delonix elata, hay plus Tamarindus indica and hay plus sunflower seed cake. All diets were supplemented with maize bran. The experimental period was 90 days. Voluntary dry matter intake of the supplements was higher for Tamarindus indica (275.5 g/day) and Grewia similis (201.8 g/day) and lowest for sunflower seed cake (81g/day). Goats supplemented with Grewia similis had the highest hay intake (183.8 g/day) while those supplemented with sunflower seed cake had the lowest hay intake (98.9 g/day). Animals fed browse supplements gained significantly more weight (p<0.001) than those with sunflower seed cake. There were no significant differences in live weight change between goats fed the different browses. However, those fed Tamarindus indica gained an average of 20.79 g/d which was slightly higher than the gains for those on Grewia similis and Delonix elata while those fed sunflower seed cake lost weight. Correspondingly, goats supplemented with browse leaf meals had higher feed conversion ratios than those supplemented with sunflower seed cake and required 23.91 to 35.06 g DM of feed to produce one g of weight gain per day. In a separate study, the DM disappearance pattern indicated that Grewia similis and Delonix elata were highly degradable compared to Tamarindus indica. At 24 h of incubation, DM degradability was 627, 588 and 345 g/kg DM for Grewia similis, Delonix elata and Tamarindus indica, respectively. In another study in vivo DM digestibility ranged from 46.1% (for hay alone) to 56.2% (for hay plus Grewia similis). It was concluded that the addition of Tamarindus indica, Grewia similis and Delonix elata leaf meals to Cenchrus ciliaris hay resulted in increased total DM intake, in vivo digestibility and growth rate. Therefore, leaf meals of indigenous browses particularly Tamarindus indica and Grewia similis could be used as supplementary feeds for small ruminants grazing on poor quality roughages during the dry season rather than use of expensive, less effective and intermittently available sunflower seed cake.


Indigenous Browses;Goats;Intake;Digestibility;Growth


Supported by : International Foundation for Science


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