Livestock Research for Rural Development 19 (4) 2007 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD News

Citation of this paper

Voluntary intake, nutrient digestibility and nutritive value of foliage of fluted pumpkin (Talfairia occidentialis) - haylage mixtures by goats

E M Aregheore

The University of the South Pacific, School of Agriculture and Food Technology, Alafua Campus, Apia, Samoa
aregheore_m@samoa.usp.ac.fj   or   aregheore_m@yahoo.com

Abstract

Voluntary dry matter intake, nutrient digestibility and nutritive value of foliage of fluted pumpkin (Talfairia occidentialis) - haylage [85 % carpet grass (Axonopuscompressus); 10 % guinea grass (Panicum maximum) and 5 % batiki grass (Ischaemum aristatum var. indicum)] mixtures fed to goats was investigated. Five crossbred Anglo-Nubian goats, 12-14 months old, a pre-trial mean live weight of 11.1± 0.34 kg were allocated in a randomized 5 x 5 Latin Square design to five dietary treatments: 100 % haylage (FP0); 75 % haylage: 25 % fluted pumpkin foliage (FP25); 50 % haylage: 50 % fluted pumpkin foliage (FP50); 25 % haylage: 75 % fluted pumpkin foliage (FP75) and 100 % fluted pumpkin foliage (FP100). The goats also received 200 g each of a concentrate. CP and gross energy contents of FP0, FP25, FP50, FP75 and FP100 were, 9.3 %, 12.0 %, 14.7 %, 17.4 % and 20.1 %; 17.0, 16.5, 16.1, 15.5 and 15.8 (MJ/kg DM) respectively.

Dry matter intake (DMI) of FP0, FP25, FP50, FP75 and FP100 was 88.3, 76.1, 66.4, 67.1 and 67.5g/kg0.75/d, respectively. DMI between the haylage (FP0) and fluted pumpkin foliage (FP100) was significantly different (P<0.05). DMI of the mixed haylage/fluted pumpkin diets (FP25, FP50 and FP75) were significantly better (P<0.05) than FP0. Digestibilities of DM and OM were 42.7, 52.8, 57.5, 65.3 and 47.4 %; 43.9, 54.2, 61.6, 68.7 and 52.4 %, for FP0, FP25, FP50, FP75 and FP100 respectively. Digestible CP (DCP) was 3.9, 6.1, 8.6, 10.1 and 11.1 g/kg0.75/d for FP0, FP25, FP50, FP75 and FP100 respectively. Daily protein intake (DPI), was lower in FP0 (haylage). DPI, digestible energy intake (DEI) and metabolizable energy intake (MEI) followed the trend of voluntary DMI. The goats on FP75 had higher OM digestibility, nutritive value index (NVI) and higher ADG. This indicates that the foliage of fluted pumpkin is a potential cheap protein source and in total daily forage allowance its inclusion lies between 50 to 75 % levels; with the 75 % level giving the best performance

Based on performance data the ratio of 25 % haylage:75 % fluted pumpkin foliage was more beneficial and thereby recommended for goat farmers. Its' nutritional importance in human diets in West African countries where it is cultivated may however, limits its usage as a cheap protein supplement for small ruminants on low quality feeds during the dry season period.

Key words: ADG, goats, haylage, intake, nutrient digestibility, nutritive value index, Talfairia occidentialis


Introduction

Ruminant production benefits from the introduction of adapted browse/legume species into low quality grass dominated pasture. Fluted pumpkin (Talfairia occidentialis Hoof) belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae and it is crop of commercial importance grown across the low land humid tropics of West Africa (Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone) being the major producers (Nkang et al 2003), however, there is no identifiable information on the crop in terms of varieties (FAO 1992).

It is a tropical vine grown mainly for the leaves which constitute an important component of the diet of many people in West African countries (Gill 1988; Fagbemi et al 2005) and for its edible seed. The young shoots and leaves of the plant are the main parts used in soup. Common names for the plant include fluted gourd, fluted pumpkin, iroko and ugu.

The plant is dioecious, perennial and drought tolerant. It is usually grown trellised. It needs a well drained soil, some water and some sun. The vines will climb up to1.5 meter. The flowers are white and dark purple. The sex of fluted pumpkin is difficult to know until after flowering which takes about 4 months after planting. This is a major constraint to its production. The female leaves are preferred by the housewives and are therefore in higher demand (Ajibade et al 2006).

The green leaves of fluted pumpkins generally called "ugu" are well known in Southern Nigeria because of their pleasant taste. The leaves are rich source of protein, oil vitamins and minerals which enhances, nourish, protect and heal the body. The green leaves are low in crude fibre, rich source of folic acid, calcium, zinc, potassium, cobalt, copper, iron, vitamins A, C and K and also have medicinal value (Ladeji et al 1995; PM News 2003; Ajibade et al 2006). Relative to most common vegetables, its protein content is high (Okoli and Mgbeogu 1983; Ladeji et al 1995). The leaves and shoot are consumed as food.

The plant also contain considerable amount of anti-nutrients such as phytic acid, tannin and saponin which could also have some health benefits to its consumers (Ladeji et al 1995, Ajibade et al 2006). Due to the richness of the leaves in iron it is used to cure aneamia (Ajibade et al 2006). The seeds are also rich in oil storage reserves however at present it has very low commercial value as an oilseed, but it is potentially valuable as a high protein oilseed for human and animal food (Giami et al 1999; Nkang et al 2003). The oily seeds have lactating properties and are widely consumed by the nursing mothers (Ajibade et al 2006).

The challenges in using forage as source of feed for animals are estimating its availability and intake and determining whether or not the forage can supply adequate nutrients for maintenance, growth, reproduction and lactation. Most tropical grass species have low dry matter digestibility and intake (Minson 1971; Humphreys 1987); the leaves, shoots and twigs of legume/browse plants can help overcome the nutritional constraints of tropical grass species that are low in nutritive quality. Leaves from browse and fodder trees form a major part of livestock feed in tropical countries, (Mandal 1997) and play an especially important role in improving dietary protein (Aregheore et al 1998; Kaitho et al 1998)

Oyenuga (1978) reported that the leaves of fluted pumpkin are much sought after by goats and sheep leading to its being closely guarded in backyard gardens and on farms during growth; however, animal production using leaves of fluted pumpkin as forage has not been documented and as such there is no information on its feed and nutritional value in ruminant nutrition. The objectives of this study therefore are (i) to characterize the nutrients composition of leaves of fluted pumpkin and (ii) investigate voluntary intake; nutrient digestibility and nutritive value of leaves of fluted pumpkin (Talfairia occidentialis) - haylage mixtures offered to goats.
 

Materials and methods

Source of fluted pumpkin (Talfairia occidentialis) leaves

Fruits of fluted pumpkin were processed and brought from Nigeria to Samoa through the Quarantine Department in 2002. These were planted in a well prepared plot that was cleared free of any vegetation. Seeds from a single provenance were planted again in July 2005 and nurtured to the stage where succulent green leaves used a vegetable in soup or stew became abundant for harvesting in early January 2006. The plants were staked and manual weeding was done as required. There was no fertilizer application.

The succulent parts- stem/green leaves were harvested on a daily basis and used for the feeding trial that started in January 10, 2006.

Location of experiment

The experiment was conducted at the Goat Unit, School of Agriculture and Food Technology, the University of the South Pacific, Alafua campus, Apia Samoa (13.5°S, 172.5° W). Temperatures in Samoa are seasonally uniform with the mean maximum temperature ranging from 27 to 30o C and the mean minimum temperature ranging from 20 to 23o C. Samoa has humid tropical climate.

Diet preparation of haylage and leaves of fluted pumpkin

Combination of grasses [85 % carpet grass (Axonopus compressus); 10 % guinea grass (Panicum maximum) and 5 % batiki grass (Ischaemum aristatum var. indicum)] mowed in a field were gathered together with a rake and allowed to wilt to about 50 % before being packed into plastic containers. This product obtained was designated as haylage. The climate in Samoa is not very conducive for haymaking hence the grass mixture was preserved as haylage.

Five experimental diets were used and offered in the following ratios:

FP0- 100 % haylage

FP25 - 75 % haylage: 25 % foliage of fluted pumpkin

FP50 - 50 % haylage: 50 % foliage of fluted pumpkin

FP75 - 25 % haylage: 75 % foliage of fluted pumpkin

FP100 - 100 % foliage of fluted pumpkin

The foliage (leaves and stems) of fluted pumpkin (Talfairia occidentialis) was harvested on a daily basis and chopped with a bush knife into 3 - 4 cm in length and fed fresh with the haylage. There were two controls in the trial. 100 % haylage was used as control l, while control 2 was 100 % foliage of fluted pumpkin. FP25, FP50 and FP75 were thoroughly mixed before they were offered to the goats. Also all goats had 200 g concentrate (processed brewer's grains, 800g/kg, copra cake, 150 g/kg, commercial mineral and vitamins 30 g/kg and salt 20 g/kg) and free access to fresh clean water.

Animals, experimental design and management

Five crossbred Anglo-Nubian goats, 12-14 months old, a pre-trial mean live weight of 11.1± 0.34 kg were selected for the experiment and allocated to treatments in a randomized 5 x 5 Latin Square design. The goats were housed in individual metabolic cages (130cm x 130cm x140 cm) under a common roof. Prior to the study the goats were drenched to control worms (Levicare, Anoare, Birkenhead, Auckland, New Zealand).

Each goat received a daily allotment of 1.5 kg fresh weight of the dietary treatment that was fed in two equal amounts at 09.00 and 16.00 h adjusted daily for increase or decrease intake at approximately 10-20 %. Also 200 g of concentrate was offered to each goat 1 hr before the first meal. Unconsumed concentrate was removed after 1 hr, thereafter the dietary treamtments were offered to the goats.

The foliage of fluted pumpkin was sampled on a weekly basis for dry matter determination. Dry matter intake was determined by daily weighing in and weighing out feed offered, separating the haylage and foliage of fluted pumpkin as required and correcting for the DM content of each dietary component.

Goats were on each treatment for 21 days before treatment was changed; first 10 days was for adaptation and adjustment to feed intake, 11 days for intake measurement and collection of faeces prior to being allocated to a new dietary treatment. Feed refusals were collected each day and weighed to assess intake before any new feed was offered.

During the period the goats also had free access to fresh clean water. Body weights gain were determined on the first three days of each experimental period and the last day of the period and body weight gain was calculated by difference between mean body weights at the beginning and end of each period. Thus, average daily body weight gain was calculated as the difference between the initial and final body weight gain divided by the number of days on feed. Feed intake was calculated based on daily feed intake (offered - refusal) then multiply by the nutrient composition of the feed offered. Records of voluntary feed intake and body weight gain were kept for each goat during each phase.

Digestibility study

The goats were housed metabolic cages with slatted floor covered with a very fine wire netting that allows only urine to pass through. A dustpan and brush were used to collect faeces each morning before feeding. Total daily faecal output for each goat was weighed before 25 % of the sample was removed for dry matter determination. Daily samples of faeces and diets were dried in a forced-draught oven at 70°C for 48 h. Faeces were bulked separately for each goat during each period; milled with a simple laboratory mill and stored in airtight bottles until required for analysis. Feed offered and refusals were also analyzed for proximate composition. Apparent nutrient digestibility coefficient of the dietary treatments by goats was calculated from the method used for mixed diets outlined by Crampton and Lloyd (1956) as follows:

Where:

D = Percentage apparent digestibility

T = coefficient of digestibility of the mixed diets (haylage/fluted pumpkin)

B = digestibility of the basal diet (haylage)

S = proportion of concentrate supplement in the mixed diet.

Nutritive value index of the diets was calculated as: Relative intake x percent energy digestibility (Crampton et al 1960).

Analytical procedures

The AOAC (1990) method was used for proximate analysis of diets and faecal samples and all analyses were done in triplicate. Dry matter was determined by drying at 102° C for 24 h, ash by placing samples in a muffle furnace at 600° C for 4 h and protein by the micro-Kjeldahl procedure. Gross energy values were determined by a bomb calorimeter (Adiabatic bomb, Parr Instrument Co., Moline, IL) using thermochemical benzoic acid as a standard.

For minerals analysis, samples were dry ashed at 6000C for 4 hr, followed by wet digestion of 0.5 g in 15 ml of 2:1 (v/v) mixture of (HNO3/HClO4), diluted with distilled water and made up to 50 ml. To detect Ca, Mg, P, Mn, Zn, Cu and Fe, an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (GBC 908 AA, Scientific Equipment Pty Ltd, Dandenog, Victoria, Australia) was used, and the analytical wavelength was for Ca, 422.7 mm; Mg 285.2 mm; P. 660nm and K, 766.5nm; while K was determined using a flame photometer (Ciba-Corning Flame Photometer 410) as described in Daly and Wainiqolo (1993).

Statistical analysis

The data obtained from these analyses were used in computing the digestibility of crude protein, crude fibre, organic matter, total digestible nutrients and gross energy (GE MJ/kg). Data on voluntary feed intake, body weight change and nutrient digestibility were statistically evaluated according to standard analysis of variance (Steel and Torrie 1980) and where significant differences were observed treatment means were compared using the Duncan's multiple range test.
 

Line 1 : Five crossbred Anglo-Nubian goats, 10- 14 months old. Kindly change this to read 12 -14 months
 

Results and discussion

Chemical and mineral composition of aerial parts and diets

Proximate chemical composition; macro and micro mineral constituents of aerial parts of fluted pumpkin are presented in Table 1. The morphological parts (leaf and stem) and whole plant had relatively low dry matter (DM) content and this seems consistent with most vegetable crops (Aregheore 2004).

Table 1.   Chemical composition of aerial parts of fluted pumpkin

Nutrients

Leaf, %

Stem, %

Whole, %

Dry matter (DM)

26.9

27.0

22.1

Analysis on DM Basis

 

 

 

Crude protein

21.9

8.8

20.1

Ash

12.9

13.1

12.4

Crude fibre

15.9

39.9

22.7

Ether extract

5.9

1.5

2.1

Organic matter

87.1

86.9

87.6

Gross Energy, MJ/kg DM

17.6

15.2

15.8

Macro minerals, g/kg

 

 

 

Ca

6.8

12.0

7.5

P

8.1

7.0

5.9

Mg

4.0

4.8

4.1

K

29.8

40.8

39.9

Micro minerals, g/kg

 

 

 

Fe

510.9

357.1

251.7

Mn

45.4

21.3

56.5

Cu

17.6

17.7

17.1

Zn

90.4

53.6

56.1

The crude protein (CP) content of leaf and whole plant are higher than values reported for foliage of most tropical tree legumes such as Calliandra calothyrsus, Leucaena leucocephala and Gliricidia sepium that are as supplement in diets of tropical ruminant livestock on low quality roughage (Topps 1992; Mandal 1997). The CP content of leaf portion is consistent with Oyenuga (1978) and Ajibade et al (2006).

Unlike the leaf and whole plant the stem had higher crude fibre (CF) content. The low CF of the leaf and whole plant demonstrates that it was harvested at its optimum growth phase in terms of leaf:stem ratio (Buxton 1996) and the low CF content is consistent with Ajibade et al (2006). Separately, the whole plant, leaf and stem are rich sources of macro and micro minerals. The macro and micro mineral contents of the whole plant; leaf and stem are higher than values reported for foliage of some browse species available in the Pacific Island countries (Aregheore and Singh 2003). The high macro and micro mineral contents indicates that the foliage of fluted pumpkin if fed on single basis can satisfy the mineral requirements of growing goats (NRC 1981; Underwood 1981; Kessler 1991; Meschy 2000). The ash content is consistent with Ajibade et al, (2006).

Table 2 presents the proximate chemical composition of the haylage, fluted pumpkin foliage and the three dietary treatments.


Table 2.   Proximate chemical composition of dietary treatments

Ratios of haylage/foliage of fluted pumpkin

FP0

FP25

FP50

FP75

FP100

100:0

75:25

50:50

25:75

0:100

Nutrients

Dry matter (DM)

59.9

50.5

41.2

31.6

22.1

Analysis on DM Basis

 

 

 

 

 

Crude protein

9.3

12.0

14.7

17.4

20.1

Ash

8.8

8.9

10.4

10.6

12.4

Crude fibre

28.5

27.7

26.5

24.2

22.7

Ether extract

2.2

2.3

2.3

2.3

2.1

Organic matter

91.2

91.1

89.6

89.4

87.6

Energy (MJ/kg DM)

17.0

16.5

16.1

15.5

15.8

Macro minerals, g/kg**

 

Ca (6.0)

6.8

6.2

8.7

9.3

7.5

P  (4.2)

2.8

3.2

3.6

3.2

5.9

Mg (2.0)

4.7

4.6

4.8

5.1

4.1

K (4.2)

10.7

16.6

24.1

16.6

39.9

Micro minerals, g/kg **

 

 

 

 

 

Fe (30 40)

604.6

593.6

599.5

581.3

251.7

Mn (30 40)

72.7

59.4

74.6

64.1

56.5

Cu (8-10)

9.1

9.3

12.9

11.3

17.1

Zn (40 50)

51.6

43.7

70.7

39.7

56.1

* FP0- 100 % haylage (85 % Carpet grass; 10 % guinea grass and 5 % batiki grass)

FP25 - 75 % haylage : 25 % Fluted pumpkin foliage

FP50 - 50 % haylage: 50 % Fluted pumpkin foliage 

FP75 - 25 % haylage: 75 % Fluted pumpkin foliage

FP100 - 100 % Fluted pumpkin foliage                                                                                                            

**Recommended average requirements by NRC (1981); Underwood (1981); Kessler (1991) and Meschy (2000).


The CP content of the haylage is higher than the CP of most single grass species grazed or used in cut-and-carry production systems (Aregheore 2005). The CP content of FP0, FP25, FP50, FP75 and FP100 were, 9.3 %, 12.0 %, 14.7 %, 17.4 % and 20.1 % respectively. The CP content increased while CF, organic matter (OM) and gross energy contents decreased with incremental levels of the foliage of fluted pumpkin in the mixtures. However, the CP value for all the dietary treatments is above the value suggested as adequate to meet protein requirements for moderate growth in goats (NRC 1981). Also energy contents of the dietary treatments were consistent with values reported for tropical forages fed to ruminants in tropical and sub-tropical countries (Butterworth 1964).

The concentration of macro and micro minerals in the dietary treatments (Table 2) were higher than the recommended average requirements by NRC (1981); Underwood (1981); Kessler (1991) and Meschy (2000) for growing goats.

Voluntary feed intake

Performance characteristics of the goats are presented in Table 3.

Table 3.  Feed intake and performance characteristics of goats fed haylage, three ratios of haylage-fluted pumpkin and fluted pumpkin                                                          

Ratios of haylage/foliage of fluted pumpkin

Diets*

FP0

FP25

FP50

FP75

FP100

100:0

75:25

50:50

25:75

0:100

Intake, g per DM per day

Haylage

313a

195.9b

78.6c

51.2c

-

Fluted pumpkin foliage

-

37.1c

90.0b

116.7a

174.6a

Concentrate intake, g per DM per day

80

90

100

105

100

Total voluntary feed intake

393c

323.0b

268.6a

272.9a

274.6a

Dry matter intake, g/kg0.75/d                                            

88.3b

76.1a

66.4a

67.1a

67.5a

Live weight, kg

Initial

10.6

11.5

11.5

11.0

11.0

Final

11.8

13.2

13.8

14.0

13.0

Body weight gain

1.2

1.7

2.3

3.0

2.0

Daily live-weight gain, g /day

43a

57ab

77ab

100b

67ab

Feed efficiency, gain (g) /feed (kg)

0.11

0.18

0.29

0.37

0.24

Efficiency of feed utilization (feed/gain)

9.1

5.7

3.5

2.7

4.1

* FP0- 100 % haylage (85 % Carpet grass; 10 % guinea grass and 5 % batiki grass)

FP25 - 75 % haylage : 25 % Fluted pumpkin foliage

FP50 - 50 % haylage: 50 % Fluted pumpkin foliage 

FP75 - 25 % haylage: 75 % Fluted pumpkin foliage

FP100 - 100 % Fluted pumpkin foliage 

a,b, c values within rows not followed by the same letter are different (P<0.05)

There was a significant difference (P<0.05) between the intake of the haylage (FP0) and fluted pumpkin (FP100). Also the intake of the haylage/fluted pumpkin mixed diets (FP25, FP50 and FP75) were not significantly different from each other (P<0.05) and they were consumed significantly better (P<0.05) than haylage alone (FP0). The consumption of the haylage portion was higher than the fluted pumpkin portion in FP25, while in FP50 and FP75 the consumption fluted pumpkin was higher (P<0.05). This observation is consistent with Aregheore, (2002) who reported higher consumption and utilization of the foliage portion in mixed diets, offered to goat ad libitum. However, the consumption of FP75 and FP100 were similar.

The amount of forage consumed is a major determinant of animal production from forage based diets. Generally, legumes have a more rapid digestion rate than grasses (Buxton 1996), therefore their consumption is higher than that of grass (Aregheore 2002, 2004). Total feed intake was observed to increase with incremental levels of foliage of fluted pumpkin to the haylage. The differences observed in dry matter intake of the haylage (FP0) and fluted pumpkin (FP100); and FP25, FP50 and FP75 are in agreement with Grenet (1989). The refusals observed in FP25 - FP75 was made up of mainly stems and this observation is in agreement with Forbes, (1995) and Aregheore (2004) that ruminants select leaves in preference to stems when given sufficient feed to allow a choice. Also the differences observed in the intake of the concentrate; haylage; mixed haylage/fluted pumpkin and fluted pumpkin is consistent with Lechner-Doll et al (1991), who identified the goats as an intermediate feeder with a proposed capacity of changing feed behavior, toward that of a concentrate selector or, a grazer depending on the situation. Ajibade et al (2006) found 0.34 g/100g of tannins; 1.84 g/100g phytate; 0.84 g/100g saponin and 1.61 g/100g oxalate in the leaves of fluted pumpkin and these levels should not adversely affect animal performance.

Average daily gain and feed efficiency

Average daily gain (ADG) of goats on FP0, FP25, FP50, FP75 and FP100 was 43, 57, 77, 100 and 67 g/day, respectively (Table 3). Between the haylage (FP0) and foliage of fluted pumpkin (FP100), the goats on FP100 alone were numerically higher in ADG than those on FP0. ADG improved with incremental levels of fluted pumpkin foliage and the goats on FP75 (25 % haylage: 75 % fluted pumpkin foliage) were better (P<0.05) in ADG. ADG of goats on FP50 and FP75 were close but higher than those on FP0, FP25 and FP100. These short-term weight gains may reflect changes in rumen fill as much as changes occurring in body tissue. Feed efficiency [gain (g)/ feed (kg)] and efficiency of feed utilization (feed (g)/gain (g) was 0.11, 0.18, 0.29, 0.37 and 0.24; and 9.1, 5.7, 3.5, 2.7 and 4.1 for FP0, FP25, FP50, FP75 and FP100, respectively.

The CP contents of all the diets were above the level suggested as adequate to meet the requirements for moderate weight gain in goats (NRC 1981). Norton (1994) recommended a diet with 8 % CP for moderate live-weight gains in goats and according to this criteria all the diets had sufficient CP content. Differences that existed between the dietary treatments in CP content might be implicated. This therefore indicated that the difference in ADG might be partly related to higher intake of N and energy and this observation is consistent with Aregheore (2004; 2006).

The goats on FP0 (haylage) and FP100 (fluted pumpkin alone) had significantly lower feed efficiency (feed intake per live-weight gain) than those on the other dietary treatments. Feed efficiency followed the trend of body weight gain (Table 3).

Apparent nutrient digestibility

Goats on FP0 and FP25 were similar in the digestibility of DM, CF and energy although both had different nutrient concentrations, especially protein compared to the mixed dietary treatments (FP25, FP50 and FP75) that had foliage of fluted pumpkin and haylage. Nutrient digestibility improved with incremental levels of foliage of fluted pumpkin (FP25, FP50 and FP75), however the digestibility of DM, CP, CF, OM and GE obtained in this trial are slightly lower than values reported earlier for mixed diets fed to goats in Samoa (Aregheore 2002, 2004).

The nutrient content of the haylage was low and this may be implicated for its low digestibility. However, the high CP content of the foliage of fluted pumpkin allows for correcting for possible nutrient deficiencies in FP25, FP50 and FP75 and this resulted in increased voluntary dry matter intake; feed efficiency and improved nutrients digestibility. These observations are consistent with Goodchild and McMeniman (1994). Digestible CP (DCP, g/kg0.75/d) was 3.9, 6.1, 8.6, 10.1 and 11.1 g/kg0.75/d for FP0, FP25, FP50, FP75 and FP100 respectively. DCP intake increased with incremental levels of fluted pumpkin foliage. The values obtained in this trial are higher than maintenance requirements suggested by Devendra and Burns (1970) for goats.

Nutritive value

The nutritive value of the diets is presented in Table 4.

Table 4.   Apparent Nutrient digestibility coefficients and nutritive value of haylage, three ratios of haylage-fluted pumpkin and fluted pumpkin                                                                                         

 

Ratios of haylage/foliage of fluted pumpkin

Diets*

FP0

FP25

FP50

FP75

FP100

100:0

75:25

50:50

25:75

0:100

Nutrients, %

Dry matter

42.7a

52.8b

57.5b

65.3bc

47.4a

Crude protein

42.3a

50.9b

58.4b

62.2bc

55.2b

Crude fibre

49.1a

63.2b

68.3b

79.3bc

63.0b

Organic matter

43.9a

54.2a

61.6b

68.7b

52.4ab

Energy

45.0a

49.7a

58.1b

62.0b

47.2a

Nutritive value

Total digestible nutrients

51.8

53.1

54.7

57.3

54.4

Daily protein  (N x 6.25) intake, g/kg0.75/d

3.9

6.1

8.6

10.8

11.1

Digestible energy, MJ/kg DM intake

7.7

8.2

9.4

9.6

7.2

Metabolizable energy, DE x 0.82 intake KJ/kgLW0.75/d

6.3

6.7

7.7

7.9

5.9

Nutritive value index, KJ/kg 0.75/d

54.7c

69.4bc

87.7a

94.1a

72.6b

* FP0- 100 % haylage (85 % Carpet grass; 10 % guinea grass and 5 % batiki grass); FP25 - 75 % haylage : 25 % Fluted pumpkin foliage; FP50 - 50 % haylage: 50 % Fluted pumpkin foliage ; FP75 - 25 % haylage: 75 % Fluted pumpkin foliage and FP100 - 100 % Fluted pumpkin foliage 

a,b,c values within rows not followed by the same letter are different (P<0.05)

Total digestible nutrients (TDN), were not significantly different from each other, however daily protein intake (DPI), was low in FP0 and high in FP100 (P<0.05). DPI, digestible energy intake (DEI) and metabolizable energy intake (MEI) followed the trend of feed intake. Nutritive value index (NVI) was similar between FP50 and FP75 and this was followed by FP100. Among the single component diets, FP100 was significantly higher (P<0.05) than FP0 (haylage) in NVI. The inclusion of foliage of fluted pumpkin improved NVI of the mixed diets.

Nutritive value index is a measure of voluntary intake of digestible dry matter and it is one of the several indices used to evaluate the quality of diets of forage origin (Moore and Undersander 2002). In this trial the goats on FP75 that had higher organic matter digestibility and NVI also had higher ADG. This indicated that foliage of fluted pumpkin could be used as a cheap source of protein supplement in haylage based diets for growing goats up to the 100 % level without detrimental effects however the 75 % level was the best in performance.
 

Conclusion

References

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Received 19 October 2006; Accepted 2 January 2007; Published 2 April 2007

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