Solidago gigantea Ait. and Calamagrostis epigejos (L) Roth invasive plants as potential forage for goats.
The experiment focused on feed evaluation was conducted with goats to determine the feeding value of two aggressive weeds, the giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) and the bushgrass (Calamagrostis epigejos). Studied plants at the pre bloom stage were evaluated for feeding value by 7-month-old castrated goats (n=5 per group, BW=25.0 kg). All animals received no supplemental feed. The two plants differed in content of dry matter (DM) (266 vs. 394 g/kg) as well as in crude protein (119 vs. 86g), crude fibre (222 vs. 317 g) and N-free extract (523 vs. 447 g) per kg DM. In this study, total daily DM intake from giant goldenrod and bushgrass was similar (666 vs. 689 g/goat). Apparent digestibility of these plants was similar for organic matter (58-59%), but differed for crude protein (71 vs 53%) and N-free extract (72-62%). The values of total digestible nutrients (55.9-53.4%), net energy for maintenance (NEm: 4.90-4.54 MJ) and net energy for lactation (NEl: 5.16-4.91 MJ) per kg DM were similar. The study concluded that Solidago gigantea and Calamagrostis epigejos aggressive plants could be interesting feed for goats due to their feeding values. In addition, both of these aggressive weeds are relatively easily available.