ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 69 Number 3
Research Papers
Nutritional value of Sesbania grandiflora leaves for monogastrics and ruminants
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The nutritive value of Sesbania grandiflora (sesbania) foliage was evaluated in two experiments in Western Samoa. In Experiment 1, goats were fed none, 1000g day-1 or adlibitum fresh sesbania foliage with a basal diet of low quality grass hay. Feed intake was greater in goats offered ad libitum sesbania than in goats given grass alone, particularly in the second half of the experiment (78.6 vs 54.7 g DM kg W-0.75 day-1). Organic matter and nitrogen digestibility coefficients increased from 52.5 and 29.6% to 65.1 and 61.9%, respectively, as the level of sesbania feeding increased from nil to adlibitum. Despite greatly improved intake of digestible nutrients, goats fed either level of sesbania were only able to maintain weight. In Experiment 2, day-old chicks were fed diets containing 5 or 10% sesbania leaf meal. Chicks fed the sesbania diets had reduced feed intakes (<50% of control diet) and growth rates of only ca. 4 g day-1 compared with birds on the control diet which gained at 16 g day-1. The negative effect of sesbania on chick performance could not be attributed to canavanine because the addition of canavanine to the control diet had no deleterious effect on feed intake and growth. It is concluded that Sesbania grandiflora should not be fed to poultry and that it be used only as a supplement (<30%) for ruminants, rather than as a major dietary component, until the toxic compound or compounds are identified and better understood.
Keywords: Nutritional value; Sesbania grandiflora; Monogastrics; Ruminants