Effects of prosopis juliflora seedpod meal supplement on weight gain of weaner galla goats in Baringo district, Kenya
This study was conducted at Kenya Agricultural Research institute (KARl) in Baringo district Rift Valley Province. Baringo is one of the arid and semi-arid districts of Kenya. Pastoralism is the main economic activity. The goat is the main livestock species. The district is heavily invaded by P. juliflora a woody shrub that has taken over the grazing land. This study was conducted to determine the effects of increasing amounts of P. juliflora seedpod meal on feed intake, digestibility and growth rate of weaner Galla goats to establish the maximum substitution level of the pods to avoid deleterious effects on livestock. The study further sought to assess the feasibility of incorporating P. juliflora seedpods into the livestock feeding system. The experiment involved 20 weaner Galla goats of similar age (6 months) and weights (11-14 kg) which were randomly assigned to four treatments of five goats each. The treatments were TI (Control treatment-- a P. juliflora) T2 (100 g /goat /day of P. juliflora seedpod meal) T3 (200 g /goat /day P. juliflora seedpod meal) and T 4 (400g Igoat Iday P. juliflora seedpod meal). Supplementation involved providing the goats with their respective portions of P. juliflora seedpod meal in the morning before the grass hay was offered. The animals were weighed on a weekly basis and the average weight gain calculated as the difference between that week s weight and the previous week's weight divided by five. The experiment lasted for 70 days. Overall all the supplemented groups exhibited higher average weekly weight gains than the centrol group. However these differences were only statistically significant (P<0.05) from the fifth week onwards Overall treatment T3 exhibited highest total weight gain (3.96kg) followed by T4 (2.70kg). The co t benefit analysis of the treatments indicated that T2 is the most profitable seedpod supplementation level with a cost-benefit ratio (BCR) of 1.50. Treatment T4 was the least effective (BCR =0.57). Results of this study indicate that about 200glgoatJday of P .juliflora seedpod is the maximum that should be fed to this breed of goats at this age. It was also found that feeding more than this amount can be detrimental to the health of the animals.