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1. Studies on utilization of trees and shrubs as the sole feedstuff by growing goats; foliage preferences and nutrient utilization 

Authors: Theng Kouch, T R Preston and J Ly 2003.

Livestock Research for Rural Development (15) 7 Retrieved, from

Summary: The study was carried out at the University of Tropical Agriculture on the campus of Royal University of Agriculture, in Cambodia , from May to September, 2002. Foliage of jackfruit ( Artocarpus heterophyllus ), mulberry ( Morus alba ) and cassava ( Manihot esculenta ) were used throughout the studied. Mulberry and cassava were from plantations harvested periodically and located in the UTA Ecological Farm. The jackfruit foliage was obtained from nearby farmers. Three treatments were used for every one of the three foliages evaluated, and consisted of offering as the only ration to the animals either leaves (L) or leaves and stems (F) placed in the feed trough, or leaves and stems offered hanging (FH), tied to a bamboo stick over the cage. The goats were allocated to the treatments at random, after they were adapted to confinement in individual pens during a preliminary period of two days. The foliage or leaves plus petioles for each plant species were offered to 3 goats in according to three successive 3*3 Latin square arrangements (one for each plant species) with periods of 16 days for each square, the first 10 days for adaptation to the diet, and the following five days for determination of intake, nutrient digestibility, and N retention. Feeding behaviour (time spent eating and ruminating) was recorded on three 24 hour occasions on days 5, 10 and 15 of each period. On day 16 rumen samples were obtained for every animal using a stomach tube. Three male crossbred goats averaging 20 ± 1.5 kg live body weight were used for the evaluation of every plant species. The goats were housed in metabolism cages (1.0x0.8 m), elevated 0.8 m and allowing the separate collection of faeces and urine. The feeds were offered ad libitum. The mulberry and cassava materials were offered fresh, immediately after harvesting, whereas jackfruit foliage was obtained every two days. The goats were offered the feed three times per day (8:00 AM, 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM). Feed offered and refused, output of faeces and urine, was recorded daily during the last 5 days of each period. Samples of feed offered and refusals were taken daily and analysed for DM and N. Faeces were put in plastic bags in the freezer (-20 ° C). Urine was collected in a bucket containing enough H2SO4 solution to maintain a pH of 4 or lower. Nutrient digestibility and N balance were calculated by standard procedures outlined for the direct estimation of animal digestibility (Crampton and Harris 1969). Rumen fluid samples were collected two hours after feeding on day 16, at the end of each experimental period, to measure rumen ammonia, pH and protozoa population. About 15 ml of rumen fluid collected from each goat were transferred into individual containers, filtered through two layers of cotton cloth and thereafter two drops of concentrated H2SO4 were added to inactivate rumen microbial activity. Ten ml of acidified rumen liquor were mixed with 4 ml of saline formaldehyde solution and the treated samples were stored in refrigeration until counting. Protozoa counting was conducted by placing one drop of sample onto a slide and then covering with a cover-slip. The protozoa number was counted 20 times under a 10x magnification in a microscope. This procedure was repeated 2 to 3 times per sample. 

Abstract : A study was made of different ways of offering three tree foliages (Mulberry, Jackfruit and Cassava) to goats. The feeding methods were: offering fresh leaves (L) or foliage (F) in the feed trough or the foliage hanging on the side of the pen (FH). The treatments were allocated to each foliage in three successive 3*3 Latin square arrangements to 3 growing goats confined in metabolism cages. The evaluation consisted of a study of the pattern of feed intake and nutrient digestibility. In all the plant species examined, the leaves had a higher DM, ash and crude protein concentration than the foliage (leaves plus stems). On all three plant species the goats ate more dry matter in a shorter time when they were offered the foliage hanging from the roof of the cage. Intake was lowest and eating time longest when only the leaves were offered in the feed trough. Ruminating rate was not influenced by source of foliage or method of feeding. DM and OM digestibility followed the same pattern as DM intake, with highest values for hanging foliage and lowest for leaves fed separately. For jackfruit and cassava the N retention was highest for hanging foliage and lowest for the leaves fed in the trough. There were no differences in N retention for the different ways of offering the mulberry foliage. There was no effect of feeding method on ruminal pH and protozoa counts. Rumen ammonia levels were very high (from 400 to 1000 mg/litre) and were not affected by offer method or source of foliage. It is concluded that dry matter intake and digestibility of tree foliages by goats will be higher when the leaves are attached to the stem and hung from the walls of the pen, compared with putting the branches or only the leaves in a feed trough.