The effect of leucaena supplementation on the feeding value of chick pea (Cicer arietinum L.) haulm to sheep


Chick pea haulm
Body weight change
Nitrogen balance
Volatile fatty acids

How to Cite

The effect of leucaena supplementation on the feeding value of chick pea (Cicer arietinum L.) haulm to sheep. (1994). Tropical Agriculture, 71(1).


Twenty young intact Menz-type male sheep were assigned to four levels of leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala cv. Peru) supplementation to chick pea haulm fed ad libitum: 0 (treatment A), 100 (B), 200 (C), and 300 (D) g day-1 head-1 . Water and mineral lick were offered free choice. Dry matter digestibility, intake, body weight gain, N balance, rumen ammonia concentration, and molar proportions of volatile fatty acids (VFA) were determined. Body weight gains increased from 59 to 87 g day-1 with increased leucaena leaf supplementation. Digestibility increased by 7 .0, 6.6, and 9.6 percentage units over the control diet when leucaena was offered at levels of 100, 200, and 300 g head-1 day-1, respectively. The concentrations of ammonia with treatments C and D were consistently higher than 20 mg 100-ml-1 of rumen fluid at all times, but this high ammonia level was observed with treatment B only at 4 h after feeding. The optimum VFA production time was delayed with more than 200 g of leucaena leaf and the total VFA production declined when more than 100 g was fed. However, the rate of protein and carbohydrate degradation seemed to be better synchronized in treatment B than in C and D. The rate of protein degradation was faster than carbohydrate with treatments C and D. The percentages of N retained were similar for the supplemented groups, despite differences in apparently absorbed N and in dietary N concentration. This suggests insufficient energy (glycogenic substances) supply for efficient retention of N in the rumen and at tissue level. It is suggested that split feeding of leucaena leaf hay at the 200-g and 300-g levels might lead to more efficient utilization of chick pea haulm, or additional energy supplementation may be required at the higher levels of leucaena supplementation.