A study was conducted on thirty two 15.5±1.4 kg (mean ± SD) male Afar goats so as to evaluate effects of increasing dietary levels of pounded Prosopis juliflora (P. juliflora) pod on their performance. Hematological values, individual feed intake and body weight gain were determined during a 90-day experimental period. Four dietary treatments were applied using complete randomized design (CRD). The treatments were the experimental units (goats). The experimental feeds were 0 g P. juliflora (T1 as control animals), 150 g (T2), 300 g (T3), and 450 g (T4) and Panicum antidotale hay was offered as a roughage source, that is, ad libitum. Results of total dry matter and nutrient intakes, growth and feed conversion rates were appreciable as the amount of pounded P. juliflora is increased from 0 to 300 g. However, these values declined sharply as the amount of pounded P. juliflora supplementation increased to 450 g. Hematological analysis showed that there is significant difference (P<0.01) among all treatments in all of the parameters taken. However, all of the values were under the normal range mentioned for healthy goat breeds. Overall, feed intake, growth rate and feed conversion were maximized at 150 g pounded P. juliflora. This result also indicated that pounded P. juliflora pod could be fed to Afar goats up to 450 g without compromising their health.
Key words: Afar goats, growth, health, hematology, pod, Prosopis juliflora.
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