Livestock Research for Rural Development 27 (3) 2015 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD Newsletter

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Effect of complementation of Setaria palidefusca and Imperata cylindrica with Adenodolichos rhomboideus, Stylosanthes guianensis or Leucaena leucocephala on growth of local goats at Lubumbashi

M I Tshibangu, M H Kiatoko1 and J L Hornick2

University of Lubumbashi. Faculty of Agriculture. Department of Animal Production. Campus Universitaire. Route Kasapa.
Commune annexe. B.P. 1825. Lubumbashi (DR Congo)
1 University of Kinshasa. Faculty of Agriculture. Department of Animal Production.
Campus de Mont-Amba. Commune de Lemba. B.P. 190 Kinshasa 11. Kinshasa (DR Congo)
2 University of Liege. Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Department of Animal Production.
Boulevard de Colonster, 20 bât. 43. B-4000 Liège (Belgium)


Hays of graminaceous species (I. cylindrica and S. palidefusca) of low quality (30g/kg dry matter (DM) Crude Protein (CP) was offered to 16 goats (8 males, 8 females), alone or with one of three tropical leguminous plants (153g/kg, 104g/kg and 305,6g/kg DM respectively).

The supplementation increased total DM, energy and CP intakes and consequently allowed the weight of the goats to increase. The fodder of L. leucocephala gave the best results, while that of S. guianensis
   gave the lowest. Fodder of A. rhomboideus is a potential nitrogen-source supplement for poor fodder in the dry season for ruminants.

Keywords: Adenodolichos rhomboideus, foder, growth, nutritive value, ruminants


The feeding of ruminants in the Democratic Republic of Congo is based on the use of natural vegetation. This vegetation is characterised by grasses and rarely legumes. In addition to this, the lack of legumes in the southern part of the country means that the dry season becomes longer (over 6 months). This leads farmers with the financial means, to use commercial foods, most of which are imported. Grasses which form the basis of forage remain as straws in the dry season. They have a digestibility of less than 45%, and are very low in nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as other minerals, which further limits their feed intake (Chenost and Kayouli 1997; Jarrige 1987). The use of locally available protein banks to supplement poor foods is therefore essential.


In the same region, soils are increasingly contaminated with heavy metals from mining activities. The choice of sustainable and high protein plant species should be dictated by their adaptation to environmental conditions, including high levels of heavy metals in soil. They must also be adapted to the long dry season and provide fodder throughout the year.

Among the species encountered, Adenodolichos rhomboideus is the most resistant to drought and is widespread in the region (INEAC 1954). It grows on normal soil or that contaminated by heavy metals (Faucon 2009; Meerts  2008 and Tshibangu et al 2014c).


Two other species, Leucaena leucocephala and Stylosanthes guianensis are durable and are used in ruminant diets, but are neither widespread nor adapted to the contaminated soil Tshibangu et al 2014ab.


The objective of this study was to compare the use of A. rhomboideus, L. leucocephala and S. guianensis forage as a complement to grass hay on the growth of local goats at Lubumbashi.

Materials and methods

Study site

The study was conducted at Naviundu, the experimental Farm of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Lubumbashi. This farm is located in the Town Annex, the city of Lubumbashi, at an altitude of 1208.7 m, 11°42'13.7 "South latitude and 27°27'03.5" East longitude. The climate is tropical, Cw7 type according to the classification of Koppen, alternating with two seasons, dry season from May to September and the rainy season from November to March. The months of April and October are transitional. The mean annual precipitation and relative humidity are 1300 mm and 66%, respectively. The average daily temperature was 20.7°C with a maximum of 36.0°C and a minimum of 5.5°C.


Animals, feed and housing


The study was performed on 16 goats including 8 males and 8 females, all aged less than one year. Each goat was identified by an earring on which a unique number of the animal was marked. In total, 8 boxes of the same size 2.5mx 2m (5m2) were used to house 16 animals. The animals were housed in pairs: one male and one female. The weight was more or less balanced between the boxes, and the boxes were disinfected with lime and bleach. The animals were all dewormed before experimentation. During the experiment, the boxes were cleaned daily.


The feed consisted of salt grass hay, fodder from Adenodolichos rhomboideus, Leucaena leucocephala and Stylosanthes guianensis. Concentrated cracked corn was distributed daily at a rate of 200 g per goat per day. Hay and legumes were given at the rate of 600 and 500 g per day respectively. These values ​​are considered the maximum level to meet the food requirements of goats, which grow at the rate of 100 g/day and have a body weight of up to 30 kg (Kanani et al 2006; NRC 1981).


The hay used for the study were obtained from the farm. The hay was composed of Imperata cylindrica and Setaria palidefusca harvested during the late dry season, and is a staple food used during the dry season for ruminant farms in Lubumbashi.


Adenodolichos rhomboideus forage was harvested in May and June and dried in the shade in bags and stored for subsequent use. Leucaena leucocephala forage was harvested on the campuses of the University of Lubumbashi from trees aged over ten years. Only the leaves that were plucked and dried in the shade were used for food. Forage from Stylosanthes guianensis was harvested in fields for experimentation. The forage was mowed in the dry season, 20 cm above the ground, in order to avoid the highly lignified stem of base portions. Samples were then dried in the shade and stored in bags for later use.


Forage legumes were distributed each animal in addition to hay according to the following treatments:

HA = ​​hay; HAR = hay and A. rhomboideus; HAL= hay and L. leucocephala; and HAS = hay and S. guianensis.


Each box contained two feeders and waterers. Each treatment consisted of four animals divided in two boxes: two males and two females. Grass hay and forage from S. guianensis was chopped before distribution into the feeders. Water was available ad libitum for all experimental animals.


Chemical analyses


The dosage analysis of crude protein and ether extract was performed in the Laboratory of Food Science of the Institute of Pharmacy, Free University of Brussels. All other analyses were performed at the Animal Nutrition service of the University of Liège. Samples of the quantities offered and refusals were collected daily for the determination of dry matter content and conservation for laboratory analysis. The samples were placed in an oven for 72 hours at 60°C, then ground using a mill IKA WERKE Type M20 1mm mesh and stored in tightly closed bottles for laboratory analysis. The dry matter was determined by placing the samples in an oven at 105°C for 24 hours. The protein content was determined by the Digesdahl method (CP = Nx6.25). Contents of parietal fibre (ADF and NDF) were determined by the FibreBag Gerhardt procedure as described by Van Soest et al (1991). The ether extracts (EE) were determined by the Soxtec System using the method described by Matsler and Siebenmorgen (2005). The organic material was determined by placing the samples in a muffle furnace at 560°C overnight. Crude ash levels were deduced by the difference of dry matter and organic matter.


Calculations and statistical analyses


The quantities offered and refusals were weighed daily for all boxes using an electronic balance. The refused feed for each day was discarded. The weight of the animals was measured weekly using an electronic scale capacity 150 ± 1 kg. The regression equations used in the calculation of the energy levels (UFL) and those used for calculating the concentrations of nitrogen (PDI) were obtained from Gonzalez-Garcia et al (2009), Riviere (1991), Demarquilly et al (1989), Baumont et al (2007) and Tshibangu (2012).


Energy needs (UFL) and nitrogen (PDI= protein digestible in the small intestine) for goats were calculated using the equations given by Sauvant et al (2007):

BesUFL = 0.79 + 0.01 (PV-60)
BesPDI = 50 + 0.62 (PV - 60)


BesUFL = UFL requirement,
BesPDI: requirement of PDI (protein digestible in the small intestine (g)
PV = initial body weight (kg)


Comparison of the means was performed by analysis of variance of two classifications with criteria of food source of variation and sex. The effects due to sex were not significant.  The ANOVA was performed using the STATISTICA 7 software, following the procedure of the General Linear Model.

In case of a significant difference, the mean separation was performed using the Tukey's HSD method with the same software (Hill and Lewicki 2007).


The nutrient contents of the forage used in the feed for goats are shown in Table 1.


The effect of feed type was significant (p <0.05) for each nutrient considered. The DM content was similar between the legumes forage but smaller than that of the hay (p <0.01). L. leucocephala presented the lowest values ​​of OM, ADF and NDF, but it had the highest CP and ash contents. Hay presented low values ​​of CP and EE.


The estimated energy levels in terms of UFL kg-1 DM and value of nitrogen concentrations, in terms of PDIN and PDIE (g .kg-1 DM), were significantly different between the various forages (p <0.001). They were higher for L. leucocephala and lower for grass hay. The UFL concentrations showed no significant differences between A. rhomboideus and S. guianensis, but the estimated value of nitrogen concentrations for A. rhomboideus was higher than for S. guianensis forage. The parietal fibre contents (ADF and NDF) were low for L. leucocephala but similar for all other forages.


The amounts of dry matter, crude protein, and energy and nitrogen intake are shown in Table 2.


The dry matter intake from grass hay was higher for animal in the control (HA) group but similar for other groups (p <0.05). In terms of total dry matter intake, it was higher in HAS (grass hay and S. guianensis) and lowest in HA (grass hay). As for legumes, S. guianensis was the most consumed forage (p <0.05). Except for the control (HA), the crude protein and energy intake were higher for HAL and lower for HAS (p <0.001).


Table 1: Chemical composition (g / kg) of forage























A. rhomboideus











L. leucocephala











S. guianensis












































Means followed by different letters in the row are different at level p<0.05 
 DM: dry matter, OM: organic matter, CP: crude protein, ADF: insoluble fibre in acid detergent, NDF: insoluble fibre in neutral detergent, EE: ether extract, UFL: net energy for lactation, PDIN: protein digested in the small intestine when rumen-fermentable nitrogen is limiting, PDIE: protein digested in the small intestine when rumen-fermentable energy is limiting, SEM: standard error of the mean


Table 2. Dietary consumption of hay consisting of a mixture of Setaria palidefusca and Imperata cylindrica, supplemented with Adenodolichos rhomboideus, Stylosanthes guianensis or Leucaena leucocephala forage in local goats at Lubumbashi.








Hay (g.animal-1)







Legume (g.animal-1)







Total (g.animal-1)







Total ( W-0.75)







CP (g.animal-1)







CP ( W-0.75)














PDIN (g.animal-1)







PDIE (g.animal-1)







UFL (kg W-0.75)







PDIN ( W-0.75)







PDIE ( W-0.75)







Means followed by different letters for a nutrient are different at p level <0.05
CP: crude protein, UFL: net energy for lactation, PDIN: protein digested in the small intestine when rumen-fermentable nitrogen is limiting, PDIE: protein digested in the small intestine when rumen-fermentable energy is limiting, W: live weight, SEM: standard error of the mean.
HA = ​​hay; HAR = hay and A. rhomboideus; HAL= hay and L. leucocephala; and HAS = hay and S. guianensis.


Table 3 below shows the growth performance of local goats fed on different experimental diets.


Table 3. Effect on the growth performance of the consumption of hay consisting of a mixture of Setaria palidefusca and Imperata cylindrica, complemented with the forage from Adenodolichos rhomboideus, Stylosanthes guianensis or Leucaena leucocephala in local goats at Lubumbashi.




GWF (g)
































Means followed by different letters in the column are different, SEM: standard error of the mean

WI: initial live weight; WF: final live weight; GWF: liveweight gain; ADG: average daily gain.

HA = ​​hay; HAR = hay and A. rhomboideus; HAL= hay and L. leucocephala; and HAS = hay and S. guianensis.


The means of PVF, ADG and GPV revealed significant differences (p <0.05). PVF was lowest in the control diet and highest for animals supplemented with L. leucocephala forage. The same phenomenon was observed for the GPF and ADG.


The growth rate of the animals was significantly correlated with the CP content of the ration (r = 0.57, P <0.05).


Chemical composition and nutritive value


The CP content greatly varied between the different forages used in this study. The grass hay had the lowest level of CP, DM (Table 1). This would justify supplementation with legumes. The CP content of legumes, 104, 153 and for S. guianensis, A. rhomboideus and L. leucocephala respectively, were significantly different (p<0.001), and were higher than the recommended minimum level for ruminants ( -1DM ) below which intake and rumen microbial activity would be affected (Van Soest 1994). The CP concentration of L. leucocephala varies between 220 and for stems or leaves alone (Garcia et al 1996). The values of CP found in this study are in the upper range and similar to those given by Amjad et al. (2002), but slightly less than those found by Tshibangu et al (2014)ab because the forages used in this study were leaves alone. The CP concentration of S. guianensis forage varied between 63 and DM. The value found in this study falls in the upper range, but is slightly lower than that given by Tshibangu et al (2014)ab and lower than that reported by Risopoulos (1966). Therefore, it has been suggested that the difference may be due to variation in climatic conditions, age, cultural practices and soil type. The CP concentration of A. rhomboideus leaves in the present study is in the same order of magnitude as the values found for Adenodolichos paniculatus forage (Wolfgang 1990; Omokanye et al 2001). In their study of digestibility in goats, Tshibangu et al (2014)a found the CP concentration of A. rhomboideus to be similar to that found in this study. Protein concentrations of three the legumes were much higher than in the grass hay used.


However, the concentrations of fibre (NDF and ADF) were generally lower for grass hay and legumes, but much lower for L. leucocephala compared to straw (75% DM), which are considered as low quality forages (Rivière 1991).


L. leucocephala showed superior nutritive value in terms of UFL, PDIN and PDIE. The values ​​of obtained for L. leucocephala in this study are far superior to those found by Rasamizafimanantsoa et al. (2008) and those found by Gonzalez-Garcia et al. (2009). The nutritive values of A. rhomboideus and S. guianensis obtained in this study were comparable to those of dehydrated alfalfa reported by Sauvant et al. (2007).


The chemical composition and nutritional value of forage Stylosanthes found in this study were similar to those reported by Théwis et al (2005). Thewis et al (2005) found PDIN values ​​similar to those found in this study, while the PDIE in this study was below their values.


Energy values ​​(UFL) of S. guianensis and A. rhomboideus found in this study may allow the production of 4 litres of milk daily or almost 500g gain for a UBT (tropical livestock unit) (Boudet 1991; Belle Fontaine et al 1997). In contrast, the energy values ​​found for L. leucocephala may allow milk production over 6 litres or an average daily gain of more than 700g (Boudet 1991; Bellefontaine et al.1997).


The PDIE and PDIN found in this study were higher than those given by Gonzales-Garcia et al (2009) for L. leucocephala. The PDI (PDIE and PDIN) were in equilibrium for S. guianensis, and PDIN was higher than for the PDIE for A. rhomboideus and L. leucocephala, indicating that the feed of these two species contains non-protein nitrogenous compounds; therefore, there is a need to equilibrate these fractions in the diet with other energy sources (Gonzales-Garcia et al 2009).


The degradable nitrogen in the rumen remains the limiting factor for grass hay and corn grain (Table 1), while fermentable energy in rumen is the limiting factor for legumes. Unlike concentrations, the ingestion showed that fermentable nitrogen in the rumen becomes limiting in HAR and HAS. The balance is found in the HAL treatment. This could be due to low protein concentrations of A. rhomboideus and S. guianensis compared to L. leucocephala, as well as due to the high intake of fermentable energy in the rumen provided by the grass hay and maize grain.


Nutrients Intake


Table 3 shows the amount of nutrients consumed. Compared to the control diet, supplementation with forage legumes allowed an increase in the intake of total DM by 1.53, 1.56 and 1.65 times, respectively, for A. rhomboideus, L. leucocephala and S. guianensis. The results are similar to those found by Manyuchi (1994) and Mathiza et al (1997). The amount of grass hay consumed is often improved with the addition of legumes forages (Mathiza et al 1997; Manyuchi 1994). Contrary to these assertions, the amount of hay consumed did not change significantly (p> 0.05) with the addition of legume hay in the present study. This contradiction could be due to the catalytic effect of corn grain, which is the energy supplier, in addition to that provided by the grass hay. The total amount of protein provided ​​by the hay was too low compared to that provided by all legumes forages. Total proteins consumed per kg of metabolic weight (BW0.75) for were higher in diets containing L. leucocephala forage. Ifut (1992) found the total amounts CP consumed similar to those found in this work. The consumption of total dry matter per kg metabolic body weight for treatments containing S. guianensis was higher than for other treatments, which is comparable to the norm for a standard sheep (Théwis et al. 2005).


 The quantities of consumed are lower. The quantities of and for HAL consumed by goats in this study were high and similar to those found by Gonzalez et al (2009), but they were low in HAR and HAS.


Maintenance requirement for goats is 2.5g of (Gonzalez et al. 2009). The value ​​found in this study show that even without additional forage legumes, protein requirements for maintenance are covered (Table 2). In terms of daily intake per head, the values found in this study are lower than those reported by Matizha et al. (1997) in goats fed on hyparhenia hay supplemented with S. guianensis. According to Gonzalez et al. (2009) and Minson (1990), DM intake decreases with decreasing content of CP in the diet. However, this statement is not valid in this study, where DM intake was higher for S. guianensis, whose CP content is lower than that of L. leucocephala and A. rhomboideus. This difference may be due to the presence of anti-nutrient compound such as tannins and alkaloids in L. leucocephala (Soltan et al. 2013) and A. rhomboideus leaves (Tshibangu 2012).




The feeding of ruminants is one of the most important factors affecting growth in animals. The poor performance of ruminants fed on roughage is reported to be due to low feed intake, low digestibility of dry matter, and very low nitrogen, mineral and vitamin values (Chenost et Kayouli 1997; Tops 1972). Protein and non-protein nitrogen compounds are often used to correct this deficiency (Siebert and Hunter 1982; Tops 1972). Improved digestibility and intake of the staple by supplementation with forage legumes can lead to a significant increase in animal performance.


The present study indicates the poor performance of goats fed hay alone. These results are contrary to those found by Ondiek et al. (2010) for small goats for East Africa that were primarily fed Chloris gayana hay. The weight gain was significantly increased by the addition of legumes forage. Similar results were observed in sheep and goats (Mtenga and Niyaky 1985; Nyaruid et al. 2003; Smitj et al. 1991; Ahmed and Nour 1997 and Ondiek et al. 2010). In some experiments, the negative performances were observed after supplementation of hay with legumes forage (Mathiza et al. 1997), may be due to non-compliance with the requirements of animals. In this study, corn grain has likely provided fermentable energy that allowed the good use of nitrogen. The average daily gain found in this study is higher than that found by Mtenga and Kitaly (1990) in goats fed based on natural grass and Pennisetum purpureum forage supplemented with Leucaena leucocephala, Neonotonia wightii or Lablab purpureus. The values in this study ​​are higher than those found by Aregheore (2005) in goats fed based on corn stubble supplemented with Calliandra calotyrsus. The average weight gain found in this study with A. rhomboideus is comparable to that found by Bounthavone et al. (2010) for goats fed sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) or Andropogon gayanus and supplemented with fresh cassava leaves.

In this study, the feed intake in the control diet was sufficient for a gain of greater than 2 kg/month (67g/day), while the result showed an average daily gain of 30 g/day. The weight gains for treatments containing legumes forage are lower than that recommended by Sauvant et al. (2007), which is 155g per gain for goats having live weight of 16.3kg (very similar to the average recorded in this study) . Though, energy and nitrogen intakes were higher than the recommended requirements, weight gains were not consistent (Figure 1). This is probably due to the low digestibility of rations and to the presence of anti-nutritional principles that would be present in these forages, preventing the proper use of nitrogen.

*For the reason of scale UFL were multiplied by 100

HA = ​​hay; HAR = hay and A. rhomboideus; HAL= hay and L. leucocephala; and HAS = hay and S. guianensis.


Figure 1: Comparison between energy and nitrogen, requirement and intake of experimental diets consumed by local goats in Lubumbashi.    



The authors are grateful to Ms Binemo, Kashala Kapalwola, Mangayiko, Muyumba,Pierre Duez,  Marie Faes, Olivier Vaillant, Fabry Christophe, Olivier Dotreppe for technical assistance during the experiment. This study was supported by CUD (Commission Universitaire pour le Développement) from Belgium.


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Received 8 February 2015; Accepted 25 February 2015; Published 3 March 2015

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