ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 73 Number 1
Leaves from tropical trees as protein supplements in diets for sheep
The effect of forage supplement and level of maize grain (Zea mays L.) offered on intake digestibility, N balance, and rate of gain were determined for rams fed teff straw (Eragrostis; abyssinica). Supplements (leaves from five trees, Faidherbia albida, Carissa edulis Dichrostachys cinerea, Leucaena leucocephala, and Sesbania sesban, or chopped alfalfa hay: Medicago sativa) provided 40 g per day of crude protein. Maize grain was supplemented to half of the sheep t 100 g per day. Ram fed leaves of F. albida, L. leucocephala, S. sesban, and the alfalfa hay gained 49 g per day with maize and 23 g per day without maize. Higher content of proanthocyanidins and related polyphenols in F. albida had no detrimental effect on N balance and rate of gain (P<0.05) in comparison to alfalfa. The high content of proanthocyanidins and related polyphenols in C. edulis and D. cinerea resulted in low intake, digestibility, and rate of gain (6 g day-1) when fed with maize, and high weight loss (-63 g day-1) without maize.
Keywords: Phenolic compounds; Proanthocyanidins; Intake; Rate of gain; Nitrogen balance