Dichanthium hay combined with green cassava foliage or pelleted cassava foliage as fed for Black Belly rams
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Intake, digestion and nitrogen retention were measured in fifteen 1-year-old Black Belly rams that had an average weight of 35.3 (± 1.59) kg and that consumed mixed diets. Diets consisted of old Dichanthium spp. hay distributed ad libitum, combined with 500 g (dry matter basis) of green or pelleted cassava foliage. Alfalfa pellets were used as a control for foliage supplement. The experiment was run in a 3 × 3 Latin square design. Total dry matter intake was lower (P < 0.05) with the green foliage cassava diet compared with the alfalfa pellet diet. Differences were not significant (P < 0.12) with the green cassava foliage diet compared with the cassava foliage pellet diet. Total tract digestion of organic matter, crude protein and cell wall components in cassava green foliage and cassava foliage pellet diets were significantly lower than in the alfalfa diet. Crude protein total tract digestion was similar for cassava green foliage and cassava foliage pellet diets, while fibre digestion was lower with cassava green foliage diets. Retained nitrogen was significantly higher with the alfalfa diet compared with cassava diets—between which there were no differences. Urinary nitrogen excretion was similar between all diets. In conclusion, pelleting does not decrease the feed value of cassava foliage, but this value is nevertheless lower than the feed value of alfalfa.
KeywordsCassava foliage Non-conventional resources Ruminant Tannin Tropical
Acid detergent fibre
Average daily gain
Dichanthium hay + alfalfa pellet
Dichanthium hay + cassava foliage pellet
Dichanthium hay + green cassava foliage
Ammonia in rumen liquid
Neutral detergent fibre
The authors thank Tatiana Silou Etienne and Pierre Justin Dumoulin for their technical assistance.
This study was completed with the financial support of the Region Guadeloupe, European funding (FEDER, AgroEcoDiv project) and RITA TRANS’BOV.
Compliance with ethical standards
The rams were 1 year old and were reared following European Union recommendations for animal welfare, in accordance with the regulations of the Animal Care Committee of INRA.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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