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Nguyen Thi Hong Nhan, 1998. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 10 (3)

Document reference 
Nguyen Thi Hong Nhan, 1998. Utilization of some forages as a protein source for growing goats by smallholder farmers. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 10 (3)

This study was aimed at evaluating the role of foliage from four leguminous trees (Sesbania grandiflora, Leucaena leucocephala, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and Ceiba pentandra) as a component of feeding systems for growing goats in the My Khanh village in the Mekong delta.

Leaves and thin stems, the parts of the foliage that are consumed by goats, were collected every afternoon from March through to June, 1998. The amount of fresh foliage collected per unit of time was significantly higher for Hibiscus rosa-sinensis than for three other tree species (Sesbania grandiflora, Leucaena leucocephala and Ceiba pentandra). The lowest harvest rate was for Sesbania grandiflora.

Two feeding trials were done with the leguminous tree foliage as the sole component of the diet or as supplements to the fresh husk obtained from maize ears harvested at the immature (baby corn) stage. Eight smallholder farm families participated in each trial. Two young goats were distributed to each family and were housed in separate pens in a simple shed with raised slatted floor. In the trial with the tree foliages as the sole diet, the highest liveweight gains were with Sesbania grandiflora (114 g/day) followed by Leucaena leucocephala (98 g/day), Ceiba pentandra (94 g/day) and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (77 g/day). Feed intakes (fresh foliage) were in the range of 2.5-2.9 kg/goat/day. In the trial with husk from immature maize the treatments were the fresh husk as harvested,  or after ensiling,  and with supplements of either Sesbania grandiflora or Leucaena leucocephala providing half the offered dry matter together with fresh husk.  Best liveweight gain was with the supplement of Sesbania (112 g/day) followed by Leucaena (80 g/day). On the fresh husk as the only feed the growth rate was 50 g/day and was better than with the ensiled husk (32 g/day).

It is concluded that foliage from Sesbania grandiflora has a high potential as a feed for growing goats, either as the sole component of the diet or as a supplement to the fresh husk from immature maize.

Citation key 
Nguyen Thi Hong Nhan, 1998