African Journal of Food Science Research

African Journal of Food Science Research ISSN 2375-0723 Vol. 8 (5), pp. 001-007, May, 2020. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

The value of Acacia brevispica and Leucaena leucocephala Seedpods as dry season supplements for calves in dry areas of Kenya

Nyambati1, E. M.; Sollenberger2, L.E.; Karue3, C. N.; and Musimba3, N. K. R.

1Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, P. O. Box 450, Kitale, Kenya,

2Agronomy Department, University of Florida, 2183 McCarty Hall, P.O. Box 110300, Gainesville, FL, 32611-0300,

3Department of Range Management, University of Nairobi P.O. Box 30197, Nairobi, Kenya.

Accepted 12 April, 2020

Abstract

Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the feed value of Acacia (Acacia brevispica) and Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala seedpods (whole fruit) during the dry season. In Experiment 1, treatment diets were Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) hay (control) and the hay supplemented with either Acacia or Leucaena seedpod meal. In Experiment 2, maasai lovegrass (Eragrostis superba) hay (control) was offered alone or with a supplement of Leucaena seedpod meal. In Experiment 1, calves supplemented with Leucaena meal had higher gain (486 g d-1) than the control (239 g d-1) or those receiving Acacia pod meal (250 g d-1). In Experiment 2, calves on Leucaena meal had higher gains (559 g d-1) than the control (276 g d-1) confirming the results obtained in Experiment 1. Seedpods of A. brevispica contained only 65% of their seeds, resulting in a lower digestible energy concentration than Leucaena seedpods. These data confirm that cattle productivity can be increased if pods of L. leucocephala are collected during periods of abundance, stored and used as supplements for growing calves.

Key words: Acacia, Leucaena, seedpods, grass hay, calf weight gain