The study was carried out to determine the effect of cowpea cultivar supplementation on intake, digestibility and live weight changes of Pedi goats fed ad libitum buffalo grass hay. This involved five experiments. Experiments 1.1 to 1.4 involved Pan 311, Red caloona, Black eye and Agripeas cowpea cultivars, respectively, while Experiment 1.5 compared the levels of supplementation for optimum intake from each of the first four experiments. Twelve growing male indigenous Pedi goats were used in each experiment. Each cowpea hay cultivar was given as a supplement at four levels (50, 100, 150 and 200 g day -1) to a diet of buffalo grass fed ad libitum to indigenous Pedi goats. A completely randomized design was used for all experiments. The experiments were run for 25 days of preliminary period plus 5 days of collection period. Feed intake, digestibility, live weight changes and nitrogen intake were measured. All the cowpea cultivars contained more than 15% crude protein. Pan 311 had higher (p<0.05) feeding values than the other cultivars. However, Pan 311 contained the highest amounts of condensed tannins. These high amounts of condensed tannins in Pan 311 did not exert negative effects on its intake and digestibility. Chemical composition values of the cowpea cultivars found in the present study are quite high and hence the legumes should be able to supply enough nutrients, particularly proteins, to ruminant animals when given as supplements.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology