Growth, nutritive value and dry matter degradability of three Tephrosia species
Keywords:Nutrient, utilization, dry matter degradation, Tephrosia species
Two trials were carried out to evaluate the potential of Tephrosia bracteolata (TB), Tephrosia candida (TC) and Tephrosia linearis (TL) for animal feed. In an 18-week growth experiment, Tephrosia species differed (P <0.05) in leaf number (LN) and stem height (SH). TB and TL had apparent (P<0.05) early and persistent growth than TC until weeks 12 - 18 when all retarded in growth at the commencement of flowering. TC however, increased geometrically in LN and SH. There were significant (P<0.05) differences among the species in dry matter (DM) and acid detergent fibre (ADF). The DM, CP, NDF, ADF, EE and ash range from 30.0, 41.8, 24-26.5, 62.3–68.5, 45.8 - 48.4, 2.3-2.6 and 5.6-6.2% respectively. Calcium and sodium were highest (P<0.05) in TB and TL. species but had similar composition in P, Mg and K. In the second trial, dry matter disappearance and CP release were determined. The Tephrosia species were not significantly (P>0.05) different in degradation characteristics. Lower amounts of crude protein (10-14.81%) was released in the three Tephrosia species. As a result of rapid growth, high nutritive value and easily rumen degradable dry matter of Tephrosia shrubs, ruminants could benefit immensely from the plants.