Ajayi et al., 2009. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 21 (9)
Seven under-utilized grain legumes foliages and soybean foliage were evaluated for their nutrient composition, anti-nutrient contents, organic matter digestibility, short chain fatty acid and metabolizable energy levels in order to ascertain their relevance in livestock nutrition. In-vitro gas productions of the ground samples of the legumes foliage were determined every three hours until 24 hour. Total gas (ml/200mg DM) at 24 hour was estimated for each of the legumes.
The analysis of nutrient contents (g/100g DM) showed that crude protein ranged from 15.6 to 23.5g/100 g DM; Neutral detergent fibre was between 38.2 and 48.2g/100g DM while ether extract ranged from 1.0 to 2.3g/100g DM. Tannin content was between 1.8 and 6.5 g/100g DM while phytic acid was between 17.6 and 24.6 (mg/g). Trypsin inhibitor ranged from 17.3 to 27.5 Tiu/mg protein. The legumes were high in metabolizable energy (8.20 – 11.7 MJ/kg DM), organic matter digestibility (56.0 – 78.0%) and short chain fatty acids (0.8 – 1.17 mmol).
The highest volume of gas, Y, was observed in Lablab. The value of gas production from insoluble fraction, b ranged from 14 to 33 ml/g DM. The lowest rate of gas fermentation, c value was observed in Pigeon pea. It is concluded that these legumes foliages could be used as supplement in livestock diets except Pigeon pea which had the least degradation characteristics.