In a first of two experiments, twenty yearling male Pedi goats weighing 21.3±0.5 kg live weight were used in a 37-day study in a 2 (levels of PEG 4000) × 2 (levels of Acacia) Factorial arrangement in a Completely Randomised Design to determine the effect of the level of Acacia nilotica leaf meal supplementation plus 23 g polyethylene glycol 4000 on diet intake and digestibility, and growth rate of Pedi goats fed ad libitum Buffalo grass hay. Acacia nilotica leaf meal contained high amounts of total phenolics (2.04 % DM) and low amounts of condensed tannins; both extracted (0.37 % DM) and unextracted (1.83 % DM). Supplementation with PEG 4000 increased (P<0.05) crude protein intake as the level of Acacia nilotica leaf meal increased from 80 to 120 g. Similarly, treatment with PEG 4000 improved (P<0.05) DM, OM and CP digestibilities when compared to 80 g Acacia nilotica leaf meal. Supplementation with PEG 4000 resulted in an increase (P<0.05) in blood urea concentrations. Polyethylene glycol 4000 has the potential to improve the feeding value of A. nilotica leaf meal and can, therefore, be used in the feeding systems for ruminant animals. The second experiment determined the effect of A. nilotica leaf meal supplementation on in vitro digestibility of the diets similar to the actual ratios of the first experiment. Level of A. nilotica leaf meal supplementation plus 23 g PEG 4000 supplementation improved (P<0.05) in vitro DM, OM and CP digestibilities where 120 g A. nilotica leaf meal was supplemented. Similarly, 23 g PEG 4000 supplementation also improved (P<0.05) in vitro CP digestibility where 80 g A. nilotica leaf meal was supplemented. In vivo DM and OM digestibilities were best predicted from in vitro DM and OM digestibilities while in vivo CP was explained by in vitro OM and CP digestibilities. It is, therefore, concluded that in vitro DM and OM digestibilities have good capacity to predict in vivo DM and OM digestibilities while OM and CP digestibilities have good capacity to predict in vivo CP digestibility.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology