Effect of Low Levels of Leucaena Foliage Supplementation on Intake, Natrient Digestibility and Microbial N Yield in Cattle Fed Rice Straw Alone

  • Chowdhury, S.A. (Animal Production Research Division, Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute)
  • Received : 1996.07.27
  • Accepted : 1996.11.13
  • Published : 1997.06.01


The minimum amounts of leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) required to improve the performance of cattle on a straw diet has been studied. Four levels of leucaena, namely 0 (0%), 2 kg (10%), 4 kg (18%) and 6 kg (27% of dietary dry matter intake) were supplied to 4 adult indigenous bulls ($355{\pm}21.5kg$ weight) fed rice straw alone, in a $4{\times}4$ latin square design. Measurements were made on intake, digestibility, N balance and microbial N yield. Up to 10% level of leucaena supplementation, there were no significant improvement on intake, digestibility, microbial N yield and N balance. Both straw and total dry matter intake showed diminishing return to increasing levels of leucaena supplementation and the maximum intake was observed at around 20% level. However, dietary N and digestible organic matter intake, the microbial N yield and the N balance increased linearly to the increasing levels of leucaena supplementation. On a rice straw based diet, the minimum level of leucaena required to improve the animal performance would probably be at around 20% of the dietary intake.

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