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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2001;14(10): 1389-1393.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2001.1389    Published online October 1, 2001.
Nutritive Value and Utilization of Three Grass Species by Crossbred Anglo-Nubian Goats in Samoa
Eroarome Martin Aregheore
A study was carried out to investigate the nutritive value and utilization of three grass species, batiki grass (Ischaemum aristatum var. indicum), guinea grass (Panicum maximum) and signal grass (Bracharia decumbens) by growing goats. Eighteen growing crossbred goats (Anglo-Nubian Fiji local) of between 9-11 months of age and pre-trial average live weight of 9.50 1.60 kg were divided on the basis of weight to three treatment groups in a completely randomized design. The grasses constituted the diets and they were harvested fresh and chopped into pieces before they were offered to the goats. Chemical composition of the grasses, DMI, body weight gain (BWG) and apparent nutrient digestibility coefficients were measured. The grasses had similar DM content. The CP content of the grasses was in the range of 8.3-11.2%. Crude fiber (CF) content was between 30.9-35.2%. Ether extract (EE) was low with a range of 1.2-1.8%. Nitrogen free extract (NFE) was similar (40.9%) for batiki and guinea grasses, while signal grass had more NFE content (51.1%). The grasses are good sources of minerals (ash). OM content was higher in signal grass while guinea and batiki grasses had similar OM content. The goats on signal grass had higher DMI than those on batiki and guinea grasses (p<0.05). The goats on batiki grass had lower average BWG (p<0.05) than those on guinea and signal grasses. Nutrients digestibility were significantly (p<0.05) higher in the goats on signal grass compared to those on guinea and batiki grasses. The goats on guinea grass were better (p<0.05) in the digestibility of CP, OM, NFE and ME than those on batiki grass. However, goats on batiki were significantly better (p<0.05) in digestibility of CF than those on guinea grass. Signal and guinea grasses had more DCP than batiki grass. DE was lower in batiki grass (p<0.05) than in guinea and signal grasses. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) between batiki and guinea grasses in TDN. Data obtained in this experiment demonstrated that signal grass is better than guinea and signal in the nutrition of growing goats in the tropical environment of Samoa. It had the highest nutritive value, better apparent digestibility coefficients which have better growth rate and feed efficiency. In ranking, signal grass was better than guinea and batiki grasses, while guinea grass was better than batiki in nutritive value in the parameters measured. For future pasture establishment in Samoa, signal grass is recommended for consideration because of its higher nutritive value as a replacement for batiki, the most predominant grass.
Keywords: Grass; Batiki; Guinea; Signal; Chemical Composition; DMI

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