Nutritional and economic benefits of leucaena and gliricidia as feed supplements for small ruminants in humid West Africa

Considering leguminous trees Leucaena and Gliricidia as good sources of quality food, on-station and on-farm studies were conducted in the humid zone of West Africa to establish animal responses to levels, times and forms of browse supplementation, to develop alternative feeding strategies for utilising limited feed supply and to assess the economic benefits of feed supplements as against the use of tree foliage as mulch for crop production. Results indicate that at any level of supplement, sheep grew twice as fast as goats. The main benefits of supplementation had significant effect on intake. Economic analyses showed that crop response to mulching was the principal competing determinant of whether the use of tree foliage as feed supplement was economic.