The value of Acacia brevispica and Leucaena leucocephala Seedpods as dry season supplements for calves in dry areas of Kenya


Nyambati, E. M.; Sollenberger, L.E.; Karue C. N.; and Musimba, N. K. R.

Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the feed value of Acacia (Acacia brevispica) and Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala seedpods (whole fruit) during the dry season. In Experiment 1, treatment diets were Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) hay (control) and the hay supplemented with either Acacia or Leucaena seedpod meal. In Experiment 2, maasai lovegrass (Eragrostis superba) hay (control) was offered alone or with a supplement of Leucaena seedpod meal. In Experiment 1, calves supplemented with Leucaena meal had higher gain (486 g d-1 ) than the control (239 g d-1 ) or those receiving Acacia pod meal (250 g d-1 ). In Experiment 2, calves on Leucaena meal had higher gains (559 g d-1 ) than the control (276 g d-1 ) confirming the results obtained in Experiment 1. Seedpods of A. brevispica contained only 65% of their seeds, resulting in a lower digestible energy concentration than Leucaena seedpods. These data confirm that cattle productivity can be increased if pods of L. leucocephala are collected during periods of abundance, stored and used as supplements for growing calves.

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