Nutritive Evaluation of Two Legumes (Strophostyles) Supplemented to Goats Fed a High Quality Coastal Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) Hay Diet

J. L. Foster, J. P. Muir, W. C. Ellis, B. D. Lambert


The objective of this study was to compare effects of supplementing coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon; CBG) hay with Strophostyles helvula (98 g crude protein (CP)/kg dry matter (DM), 476 g neutral detergent fiber organic matter basis (NDFOM)/kg DM, S. leiosperma (117 g CP/kg DM, 497 g NDFOM /kg DM), or cottonseed meal (506 g CP/kg DM, 352 g NDFOM /kg DM; CSM) on intake of CBG hay (127 g CP /kg DM, 691 g NDFOM /kg DM) and apparent digestibility of dietary DM, organic matter (OM), NDFOM, and CP by goats.  Six Boer × Spanish cross wethers (46.22 ± 3.99 kg) were fed CBG plus S. helvula, S.  leiosperma, or CSM at 122 or 216 g/kg DM intake in a 6 × 6 Latin square with 3 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments.  There were no (P = 0.53) supplement type × amount interactions.  Intake of DM, OM, and NDFOM of CBG was unaffected (P = 0.33) by supplementation with CSM, S. helvula, and S. leiosperma.  Although intake of CBG was not affected, total diet NDFOM intake was 10.5% less (P = 0.01) when CSM and S. helvula were supplemented than when S. leiosperma was used.  Supplement type did not affect (P = 0.21) OM digestibility, but OM digestibility increased (P = 0.05) 6.4% at the 216 versus 122 g/kg DM level of supplementation with the legumes or CSM.  Supplementation with CSM and S. leiosperma improved (P = 0.02) NDFOM digestibility 7% versus supplementation with S. helvula.  As supplement amount increased NDFOM digestibility increased (P = 0.02) by 5.5%.  The diet supplemented with CSM had the greatest CP digestibility, and S. helvula CP was 6% less digestible (P = 0.02) than S. leiosperma.  As supplement amount increased, CP digestibility increased (P = 0.01) 7%.  Considering digestibility and intake, CSM and S. leiosperma were the best supplements fed in this experiment.  Strophostyles leiosperma is recommended as a forage supplementation for goats when CBG hay basal diet is fed.


Boer x Spanish cross goats; forage legumes; trailing wild bean; smooth-seeded wild bean; Strophostyles

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