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Archivos de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1885-4494Print version ISSN 0004-0592


COSTA, B.M. da; SANTOS, I.C.V.; OLIVEIRA, G.J.C. de  and  PEREIRA, I.G.. Evaluation of gliricidia sepium (JACQ.) walp leaves by sheep. Arch. zootec. [online]. 2009, vol.58, n.221, pp.33-41. ISSN 1885-4494.

The objective of this work was to evaluate Gliricidia sepium (GS) fresh leaves by growing lambs of Santa Inês breed through the following variables: total dry matter intake (TDMI), daily weight gain (DWG), total weight gain (TWG) and feed:gain ratio (FGR). It was used 16 lambs with initial weight of 18 kg and 4-6 months of age, under confinement during 98 days, distributed in individual boxes in order to form 4 groups of 4 animals, in a completely randomized design, with 4 replications, under the following diets: A) elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum. cv. Napier) ad libitum, at 45 days of age; B) fresh leaves of GS at 2% of body weight + elephant grass ad libitum; C) fresh leaves of GS at 4% of body weight + elephant grass ad libitum; D) fresh leaves of GS ad libitum. The GS and the elephant grass showed, respectively, the following chemical composition: 23.11 and 22.11% of DM; 24.11 and 12.00% of CP; 0.90 and 0.59% of Ca; 0.16 and 0.20% of P; 38.81 and 61.64% of NDF; 24.30 and 34.42% of ADF. It was not found significative differences (p>0.05) between TDMI of elephant grass (75.29 kg) and GS (65.83 kg) as lonely diets. On the other hand, the treatments T2 and T3 with mixed diets showed greater TDMI (p<0.05) than the ones with lonely diets with the values of 91.93 and 106.03 kg, respectively. The inclusion of GS leaves on all studied levels increased DWG and TWG (p<0.05) as compared to the one with elephant grass as lonely diet. However, the mixed diets T2 and T3 showed similar DWG and TWG values (p>0.05). The feed intake/weight gain ratios of T2, T3 and T4 treatments were similar (p>0.05), but the one for T1 diet was significantly greater than the others. GS fresh leaves as a lonely diet are consumed by growing lambs of Santa Inês breed. Their inclusion in diets with elephant grass increase body weight gain and improve feed intake/weight gain ratio.

Keywords : Body weight gain; Dry matter intake; Feed conversión.

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