Effects of mixture level of sorghum hay with forage legumes on performance and blood metabolites of yearling indigenous pedi bucks

30 Oct 2019

Four experiments were conducted at the University of Limpopo Experimental farm, Limpopo province, South Africa to determine the effect of legume inclusion on the performance of Pedi bucks on a basal diet of forage sorghum hay. Vigna ungiculata (cowpea), Lablab purpureus (lablab) and Mucuna pruriens (mucuna) hays were used in this trial at different inclusion levels. Fifteen yearling Pedi bucks with average weights of 15 ± 4 kg (Experiment 1), 18 ± 2 kg (Experiment 2) and 17 ± 3 kg (Experiment 3) were used in the first three experiments in a completely randomised design. Nine goats with an average weight of 20 ± 4 kg were used in Experiment 4. Mucuna hay had the highest (P < 0.05) hydrolysable tannin contents. Lablab hay had higher (P < 0.05) total polyphenolics than mucuna, cowpea and sorghum hays. Dry matter intake and digestibility increased with increasing levels of the respective forage inclusion levels. Cowpea and mucuna hay improved (P < 0.05) final live weights and feed conversion ratio, while goats on lablab hay lost weight. Diet intake, digestibility and final live weights of the goats were optimized at different forage inclusion levels. This may indicate that legume inclusion levels for optimal productivity will depend on the particular parameter of interest.