Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Research Article
Adv. Anim. Vet. Sci. 7(9): 738-744
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Ahmed M. El-Waziry1,2*, Saeid M. Basmaeil1, Abdallah N. Al-Owaimer1, Hassan M. Metwally1, Muttaher H. Ali1, Muqhim S. Al-Harbi1

1Department of Animal Production, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, 11451 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Animal and Fish Production, Faculty of Agriculture, El-Shatby, Alexandria University, P.O. Box 21545 Alexandria, Egypt.

Abstract | This work examined the effect of substituting acacia for traditional alfalfa hay as an alternative goat fodder on in vitro gas production, pH, ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N), total volatile fatty acids (VFA) concentrations and growth  of goats  . A total of 12 cannulated Ardi goats (initial weight: 27.66±0.28 kg) were used in gas production and rumen fermentation trials, and 60 male kid goats  for  growth performance trial. The goats were randomly assigned to 4 groups. Goats in group 1 were fed a control diet (C) containing 40% alfalfa hay and 60% concentrate   mixture. Goats in groups 2, 3 and 4 were fed diets in which 20, 30 and 40% (A20, A30 and A40) of the control amount of alfalfa hay was replaced with acacia, respectively. There were significant differences in gas production and potential degradability (a+b) among the experimental diets. The lowest gas production rate (c) was recorded for the A30 diet, and the highest value was recorded for the A40 diet. There were no significant differences in the NH3-N concentrations among the experimental diets after feeding, but significant differences in the VFA concentrations were observed. There were significant differences in the average daily gain between the A40 diet and other diets. The greatest daily gain was observed for the C diet, followed by the A20, A30  and A40 diets. Thus, there was no negative impact of replacing alfalfa with acacia on digestion up to 30% in feeding goats.

Keywords | Acacia foliage, Alfalfa hay,Gas production, Rumen fermentation, Growth performance