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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1992;5(2): 257-259.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1992.257    Published online June 1, 1992.
Evaluation of three tropical legumes in diets for growing rabbits
J. B. Lowry, A. C. Schlink, D. Hoffmann
Three tropical legumes, very different in growth form, but believed to be of potential value for animal production were evaluated by substituring the leaf meal made from each for Lucerne at the level used in a standard diet for growing rabbits (50%). Each leaf meal had a nitrogen content of close to 3.5% and contributed about 60% of the crude protein in the diet. Albizia lebbeck and Clitoria ternatea showed no evidence of toxic or antinutrient effects. The protein digestibility of the complete diets were 66 and 61% respectively, implying a protein digestibility of the leaf of at least 50%. Both species would be suitable for practical production diets for rabbits and should be excellent for ruminants. In contrast, the diet containing Desmanthus virgatus had a protein digestibility of only 40%, implying that only about 15% of the leaf protein was available. The leaves showed marked non-enzymic browning on drying. When dried this species is clearly unsuitable as a feed for rabbits and possibly also for ruminants. However, it may well be valuable as fresh forage.
Keywords: Rabbits; Albizia lebbeck; Clitoria ternatea; Desmanthus virgatus

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