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Effects of dietary level of Leucaena leucocephala on performance of Angora and Spanish doelings

A. Yami, A. J. Litherland, J. J. Davis, T. Sahlu, R. Puchala, and A. L. Goetsch

Small Ruminant Research. 38:17-28. 2000.

Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) is a drought-resistant, leguminous tree found throughout the tropics and subtropics. Leucaena leaves are readily consumed and nutritious; however, Leucaena contains toxic compounds such as mimosine. The nutritive value and toxicological effects of Leucaena with fiber-producing goats have not been extensively studied, particularly at high dietary levels. Therefore, objectives of this experiment were to evaluate effects on live weight and fiber growth by Angora and Spanish goats of different dietary levels of Leucaena compared with a diet containing a feedstuff high in ruminally undegraded protein. Thirty Angora (16 ± 2 kg initial body weight) and 20 Spanish doelings (19 ± 2 kg initial body weight), approximately 8 months of age, were used in a 10-week experiment. The control diet (CS) included 9% dry matter of formaldehyde-treated casein; other diets consisted of 15, 30, 45 or 60% DM of Leucaena leaf meal (0.75% mimosine). Results of this experiment indicate that diets containing moderate to high levels of Leucaena, at least up to 45%, can be fed to goats without adverse effects on BW gain or fiber growth or characteristics. Moreover, the lack of interaction between dietary treatment and breed (i.e., Angora vs Spanish) for most variables suggests that differences among animals in fiber production do not have appreciable impact. However, Leucaena used in this experiment was relatively low in mimosine, and factors such as the amino acid composition of ruminally undegraded protein of Leucaena deserve consideration and further study


 

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