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South Eastern Kenya University (2017)

An evaluation of selected Brachiaria cultivars on the weight change of Galla goats in the Coastal lowlands of Kenya

Ngila, Peggy Mutheu

Titre : An evaluation of selected Brachiaria cultivars on the weight change of Galla goats in the Coastal lowlands of Kenya

Auteur : Ngila, Peggy Mutheu

Université de soutenance : South Eastern Kenya University

Grade : Master of Science (Livestock Production Systems), 2017

Résumé
Inadequate and erratic rainfall in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya that are accompanied by long dry spells lead to drought. This leads to low feed availability. Inadequate quality and quantity of feeds is the major constraint to livestock production in the ASALs of Kenya. It is the major input factor to livestock production and accounts for 60-70% of the production cost. There is therefore a need to introduce climate smart forage species in order to expand the forage resource base to realize the full potential of ASALs as well as curb this challenge. This study was carried out to determine the chemical composition and in vitro dry matter digestibility of three cultivars of Brachiaria and their effects on live weight changes on Galla goats. It was conducted at the Sheep and Goat Multiplication Centre, Matuga, Kwale. Three cultivars of Brachiaria namely ; Brachiaria brizantha cvs. Piata and MG4, Brachiaria hybrid Mulato II were given as basal feeds and used to assess the performance of the goats in reference to weight gain, feed intake and nutritive quality. Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) was used as control. Sixteen Galla goat bucklings ranging from 10-24 kg live weight were randomly allocated to the four dietary treatments with four animals per treatment. All the goats were supplemented with 100g/day of maize germ. Mineral licks and water were provided ad libitum. Piata and MG4 had higher (P<0.05) crude protein (12.6 and 12.1% respectively) than Mulato II (3.0%) and Rhodes grass (6.7%). The cvs. Piata and MG4 were also more digestible than Mulato II and Rhodes grass. There was no difference (P>0.05) in grass dry matter intake among the goats and it ranged between 513-661 g/goat/day. Average daily live weight gain was higher (P<0.05) for goats fed on Piata (45.2 g/day) and MG4 (41.3 g/day) than those fed on Mulato II (2.0 g/day) and Rhodes grass (9.6 g/day). Likewise goats fed on Piata (3.8 kg) and MG4 (3.5 kg) had a higher (P<0.05) total weight gain compared with bucklings fed on Mulato II (0.2 kg) and Rhodes grass (0.8 kg). From the results and findings in this study, it is recommended that cvs. Piata and MG4 to be integrated in cut and carry feeding systems for better growth and live weight gain in Galla goats and generally for all ruminants. Further research should also be conducted to assess other cultivars of Brachiaria apart from the ones assessed on other animal performance variables such as milk yield and reproductive performance.

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Page publiée le 16 mai 2018