Quality and intake of mulberry (Morus alba), ramie (Bohemeria nivea (L) Gaud) and black sorghum (Sorghum almum) fodder in goats.
The experiment was carried
out in the Experimental Station Alfredo Volio Mata of the
University of Costa Rica. Mulberry, ramie and black sorghum
fodder intake was evaluated and compared in nine La-
Mancha goats with an average body weight of 38 (±1) kg,
distributed in a Latin square design 3 x 3 repeated. The experimental
treatments were: a) mulberry fodder, b) ramie fodder
and c) black sorghum fodder. Mulberry had 90 days, ramie
56 and black sorghum 70 days of re-growth. The forage
was given as chopped materials (stems and leaves). Samples
of offered and rejected material were gathered to analyze dry
matter, crude protein and neutral detergent fiber content.
Highly significant differences were observed (P≤0,01) for
fresh forage, dry matter, crude protein and neutral detergent
fiber intake by goats. Dry matter intake for the different
treatments was within the range reported in the literature and
they were 1,94, 0,97 and 0,90% of body weight for the different
diets respectively. Crude protein intake with mulberry
and ramie was high enough to cover maintenance requirements
and they gave a surplus to obtain weight gains above
50 grams per day. Fresh forage, dry matter, crude protein and
neutral detergent fiber intake were higher for mulberry followed
by the ramie diet.