Nutritional studies with West African Dwarf goats in the humid tropics
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Results of two completed and one continuing feeding/growth trials are discussed. When fed Panicum maximum plus concentrates ad lib, West African Dwarf (WAD) bucks attain a growth rate of 60 gd-1 at a DDMI of 53.3g kg0.75d-1 , which is estimated to be approximately 1.8 times the DDMI needed for maintenance. These animals had a heavier dressed carcass (7.15 vs 4.75 kg) and more abdominal fat (0.70 vs 0.11 kg) than WAD bucks receiving P.Maximum plus Leucaena leucocephala. Growth rates of WAD goats fed on Gliricidia sepium only were similar to those reported for goats at village level. Supplementation with either young fertilized Panicum maximum (A), Manihot esculenta (B) or Leucaena leucocephala (C) improved DDMI (A: 40.6, B: 45.7, C: 42.3 vs 37.9 (Gliricidia only) g.kg-0.75.d-1). Leucaena supplementation also gave significantly higher growth rates (36.0 vs 23.3 g.d-1) than Gliricidia alone. The response to cassava supplementation was confusing and further investigation is required.
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