Tropical Grasslands (1998) Volume 32, 195200
Recovery of seed of four African browse shrubs ingested by cattle, sheep and goats and the effect of ingestion, hot water and acid treatment on the viability of the seeds
C.M. SHAYO1,2 and P. UDÉN2
1Zonal Research and Training Centre, Livestock Production Research Institute, Mpwapwa, Tanzania
An investigation was made of: the voluntary intake of pods of 4 tropical browse trees by different classes of domestic ruminants; and the proportion of intact seeds that passed through the digestive tracts. Germination of undigested whole seeds recovered from faeces and uningested seeds treated with hot water and acid or untreated was also determined. Pods of Faidherbia albida (Acacia albida), Acacia tortilis, Acacia nilotica and Dichrostachys cinerea were opened to estimate the percent by weight of intact and damaged seeds in the pods. Whole pods from each species were fed to heifers, calves and mature and young sheep and goats for 2 weeks. Faeces from the animals were collected daily during the second week and washed through a sieve to retrieve the undamaged seeds. Uningested seeds were also soaked either in hot water for 2, 4 or 6 min or in H2SO4 (70% v/v) for 0.5, 1.5 or 3 h. Germination rates of treated and untreated seeds and seeds collected from faeces were determined over a period of 13 weeks.