Authors : K.O. Lapenga, C. Ebong and J. Opuda-Asibo
Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine, the intake and nutritive values of supplements and the response of Mubende goats to these feeds using elephant grass as basal diet. Thirty young intact male Mubende goats aged between 4 and 6 months with a mean live weight of 14.7±2.8 kg were studied for growth performance and feed utilization. The goats were stratified by live body weight and each goat was randomly allocated to any of the 5 treatment groups resulting in 6 goats per group. All the animals were individually fed elephant grass, used as basal diet ad libitum. The control group was fed elephant alone. However, the other four treatment groups were supplemented with 4,100 g of fresh banana peels, 680 g maize bran, 272 g cottonseed cake and 722 g fresh leucaena leaves, respectively to provide each goat with approximately 10 g N day-1. Water and mineral blocks were offered ad libitum. The feeding trials lasted 26 weeks. Chemical composition of the feeds showed that low protein content in banana peels is a major constraint in its use for ruminant feeding. Goats fed on control diet consumed the highest amount of roughage (349 g day-1), while supplements depressed intakes of roughage in the other groups. Dry matter and organic matter digestibility values differed significantly (p<0.01) between groups with the latter reflecting energy, which is highest in diet supplemented with maize bran. The best growth rates of 13.5 and 31.7 g day-1 were recorded in goats fed on maize bran and cottonseed cake supplements, respectively. These feed supplements provided adequate energy and protein, which are critical for growth of goats. However, negative growth rates of -3.1 g day-1 were recorded in goats fed on elephant grass alone and leucaena leaves supplement despite adequate availability of nitrogen. The critical factor here seems to be the balance between energy and protein input, which must be correct for proper growth of goats.
K.O. Lapenga, C. Ebong and J. Opuda-Asibo, 2009. Growth Performance and Feed Utilization by Intact Male Mubende Goats Fed Various Supplements with Elephant Grass (Pennisetum purpureum) as Basal Diet in Uganda. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 8: 1999-2003.