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Abstract, International Journal of Agricultural Research, 2007

Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the potential use of jackbean (Canavalia ensiformis) forage as a feed supplement for West African dwarf goats in the derived savannah zone of Nigeria. In experiment 1, the forage production potential and quality of Canavalia ensiformis was investigated at three different spacing in a randomized complete block experiment. In the second experiment, the supplementary feeding value of the herbage in goats was investigated in a completely randomized experiment. Results showed that plant components (leaves, stem and whole) decreased (p<0.05) with increasing spacing. Leaf yield were 0.223, 0.209 and 0.109 t ha-1for spacing 50x50, 75x75 and 100x100 cm, respectively. Crude protein contents of the leaves were similar (p>0.05) and were; 14.88 15.09 and 15.00% at 50x50, 75x75 and 100x100 cm spacing, respectively. In the second experiment, the total dry matter intake increased with increasing levels of supplementation (p<0.05). The total crude protein intake followed a similar trend. Average daily weight gain differed among the treatment groups with 0.18 g day-1gain at the control group. It can be concluded based on herbage dry matter yield, nutrient composition and the animal performance that Canavalia ensiformis forage can be usefully incorporated into the dry season feed strategy of WAD goats in the derived savannah zone of Nigeria.