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University of South Africa (2017)

Effects of nutrient-tannin interactions on intake and germination of woody plant species by ruminants

Monegi, Piet

Titre : Effects of nutrient-tannin interactions on intake and germination of woody plant species by ruminants

Auteur : Monegi, Piet

Université de soutenance : University of South Africa

Grade : Master of Science (MS) in Agriculture 2017

Résumé
Woody plant encroachment is one of the major problems worldwide because it affects negatively the herbaceous layer, which provide forage for livestock production. However, the role of ruminants particularly browsers in the dispersal of woody plant seeds still remains a concern for farmers interested in grass production. Seedpods of various woody plant species constitute a crucial part of the diet of herbivores during the dry season because of their high nutritional quality compared to herbaceous material. The interaction of associated diet quality, seed characteristics and animal species among other factors play a pivotal part in the success of livestock faecal seeds dispersion. Furthermore, dispersed seeds that successfully grow into mature woody plants become an important source of protein for herbivores. The use of woody plants as a source forage is known to be limited by plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) such as condensed tannins. The objectives of this study were to determine 1) the effects of condensed tannins and crude protein of Vachellia tortilis and Dichrostachys cinerea pods in seed recovery and germination fed to goats, and 2) the effects of diet mixing on the feed intake of plant species by goats. In the first experiment, a total of 12 female indigenous goats and 12 female Pedi sheep were utilised in this study, with the average body weights of 29.50 kg ± 1.60 (S.E) and 28.70 kg ± 1.60, respectively. Twelve goats were grouped into two groups of six goats per group, one group was fed D. cinerea pods and the other group was fed V. tortilis pods. The group of 12 sheep were divided similarly, the one group was fed D. cinerea pods and the other group was fed V. tortilis pods. Each animal was given V. tortilis and D. cinerea pods at 2.50% of their body weight. All animals were allowed to consume D. cinerea or V. tortilis pods within 24 h, after which the remaining pods were collected and weighed. Faecal collection commenced immediately after the 24 h pods feeding and was carried on until no seeds were discovered in faeces. All faeces extracted from sheep and goats were collected daily in the morning from the faecal bags. In the second experiment, a total of 24 indigenous goats with average body weight of 26.6 kg ± 0.51 were utilised. Goats were arbitrarily selected and grouped into four groups of six goats per group (goats were placed individually in 2 m2 pens). Each group was fed one of the following diets : diet one - Searsia lancea, diet two - S. pyroides, diet three -

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