Wambui et al., 2006. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 18 (5): 64
A study was conducted to compare the effects of feeding Tithonia diversifolia (Tithonia) with Calliandra calothyrsus (Calliandra) and Sesbania sesban (Sesbania) tree legume forages as protein supplements to a basal diet of urea treated maize stover. Sixteen goats (German Alpine crosses) averaging one year and weighing 11.71.8 kg were used to measure the feed intake, digestibility and live weight gains for 7 weeks. The basal diet (urea treated maize stover) plus 100 g of maize germ was offered alone (control) or supplemented with 30% on dry matter basis of Tithonia, Calliandra and Sesbania, respectively. The intake of the basal diet was not significantly (P>0.05) affected by supplementation with browse foliage but resulted in significant (P<0.05) increase in total dry matter intake, diet digestibility and nitrogen retention compared to the control. Nitrogen retention was 4.98, 4.44, 1.10 and, 2.10, g/day for Sesbania, Tithonia, Calliandra and control respectively. Supplementation significantly (P<0.05) increased the average daily gains from 20.9 g/day for the control to 82.7, 57.1, and 39.3 g/day for Tithonia, Calliandra and Sesbania respectively. Tithonia has potential as a protein supplement and could be used as an alternative to Calliandra and Sesbania in growing goats fed with low quality basal diets.