Nutritive evaluation of Echinochloa pyramidalis using West African Dwarf goats.
The nutritive value of Echinochloa pyramidalis, a floating macrophyte growing on lake Kainji, Kwara State, Nigeria, was evaluated using 4 groups of 6 West African Dwarf goats fed exclusively on the plant harvested at 4 stages of regrowth, 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks old. The crude protein (98.2 g/kg DM) and carbohydrate (structural (442.8 g/kg DM) and non-structural (512.3 g/kg DM)) were fairly high at 6 weeks old and sugar content was higher than in most forages. Voluntary intake, digestibility of DM, organic matter, lignin and energy decreased with increasing maturity beyond 6 weeks old. The nutritive value index ranged from 23.4 at 12 weeks to 35.8 at 3 weeks old. Digestible DM intake at 6 weeks was 30 MJ/kg0.75, digestible energy intake 0.60 MJ/kg0.75 and nitrogen retention 0.1 g/kg0.75 daily showed that goats could be maintained on 6-week-old E. pyramidalis.