A study was conducted to determine preference intake and relative palatability indices of tanniniferous Acacia karroo fed to 5 growing male Pedi goats with an average body weight of 19.81 ± 1.83kg. Five feeding troughs were provided to each goat and each animal was exposed to all the experimental diets. A cafeteria feeding approach was used, thus, permitting goats free access to the diet of their choice. Acacia karroo (K) was offered in a mixture with Setaria verticillata (S) hay at five different levels: Diet 1: S80K20, Diet 2: S75K25, Diet 3: S70K30, Diet 4: S60K40 and Diet 5: S50K50. The daily relative palatability indexes (RPI) obtained for each diet were subjected to analysis of variance with feeds as treatments and individual animals as replicates in a completely randomized design. Significant differences (P<0.05) in RPI among the diets were observed. Preference rankings for the diets produced the following order: Diet 5> Diet 4> Diet 3> Diet 2> Diet 1. Diet 5 appeared to be the most preferred by goats with an RPI of 96.91%. Palatability indices were positively and significantly (P<0.05) predicted from dry matter intake of goats (r2 = 0.71). Similarly, intake and palatability indices of the diets related positively (P<0.05) with the nutrient and tannin contents. Results of this study indicated that tannin-rich Acacia karroo leaves when fed in a mixed diet could influence preference and intake by Pedi goats. Palatability studies could be used in designing supplemental feeding programs for ruminant livestock in the tropics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology