Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

Vol. 11(4), pp. 262-267, 2021

ISSN: 2276-7770

Copyright ©2021, the copyright of this article is retained by the author(s)


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Effects of Alysacrpus Monilifera Fodder Intake on Feed Consumption and Performance of Desert Goats in Elobeid, Sudan.



Musa Ahmed Musa Tibin1, Salah Abd Elgabar Salah Bukhari1, Mubarak Abdalla Ajbeldour Ezairig2, Salah Basar Hammad Dahia3, Suleiman Eshag Mohamed Abdalla3 and Jumaa Barram Jadalla*4


1.     Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, University of Al Sallam Elfula, Sudan.

2.     Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, University of Kordofan, Sudan  

3.     Department of Animal Production Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Dallanj, Sudan.

4* Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, University of Kordofan, Sudan.






Article No.:120921153

Type: Research


This study was conducted at the in order to study the effects of the intake of the fraisha (Alysacrpus Monilifera) on dry matter intake, digestibility of nutrients and performance of Desert bucks. Twelve Desert goats bucks 4-5 years months old with average weight of 11 + 0.250 kg, were divided into three equal groups. The animals were ear-tagged, vaccinated against diseases endemic to the area, drenched treated with broad spectrum anthelmentics for internal and external parasites. The first group was fed Alysacrpus Monilifera fodder, while the second group consumed the natural pasture free of Alysacrpus Monilifera while the third group consumed the groundnut haulms. After observing the cases of deadly diarrhea in the first group, the feeding pattern was modified with 50% natural pasture and 50%AlysacrpusMoniliferfodder. Drinking water was provided continuously. The animals were weighed at the beginning and once a week to the end of the trial period. The fodder was analyzed as well as conducting in vitro digestibility. The experimental design was randomized and the data were analyzed using the analysis of variance and the detection of differences among means using least significant difference test (LSD). The results showed that feeding Fraisha alone resulted in fatal diarrhea in bucks without affecting appetite, and DMD and OM in vitro digestibility was significantly (P <0.05) higher in Fraisha that compared to the groundnut haulms or the natural grazing. The weight gain was significantly (P<0.05) higher for group on groundnut haulms and the natural grazing than those on fraisha alone but when 50% of the plant biomass was replace by the natural grazing the gain was significantly higher. The study concluded that the intake of fraisha at growth stage causes diarrhea it was good quality roughage when fed as part of the diet. It was recommended advanced analysis to determine the constituents causing diarrhea in Fraisha at early growth stage.


Accepted:  11/12/2021

Published: 31/12/2021


*Corresponding Author

Jumaa B. Jadalla



Keywords: goats nutrition; natural grazing; Alysicarpus monilifer.






Sudan is characterized by multiple climates that impact on the diversity of livestock where camels are concentrated in the northern belt and cows in the southern and western belts while small ruminants (sheep and goats) spreading in all parts of Sudan. In addition to this, the country is endowed with fisheries, poultry and equine species according to the climatic conditions.  Rainfall ranges in Sudan from almost zero to 75mm in arid areas  to 1000 mm, at least while temperatures ranging between 45 degrees (in summer) to 10 degrees in winter and agricultural land represents more than a third of Sudan area, while actually exploited portion does not exceed 1/5 of agricultural area. Sudan has water resources with a variety of sources, including the possibility of water harvesting. The importance of the livestock sector is well recognized by economists and planners.  Sudan food supplier animals (cattle, sheep, goats, camels) are estimated at 105 million heads (MARF, 2015). There are as well other animals and wild life. The importance of livestock is attributed to their economic and social contributions

Animal resources in the Sudan that comprise of sheep, goats, cattle camel, poultry and wild game is mainly dependent on the natural rangelands as source of feed.  Less important feed sources are crop residues, agro-industrial by products, feed of animal origin, fodder crops and synthetic feed. Establishing a competing and sustainable  program for exporting live animals and good quality meat is required in order to enable the  Sudan facing the international trade standards and this entails a vital change to improve the livestock production systems based on natural feed sources mainly rangelands. It is important for this purpose to impose strict hygienic measures to provide healthy and wholesome meat to fulfill the international requirements' and domestic needs. Natural grazing from rangelands provides very good option for this purpose.

The rapidly growing livestock population imposes a continuing pressure on this shrinking range resource. Agricultural areas, mining and urban residential places are expanding on rangeland. On this limited area, livestock population is concentrated with communal continuous grazing. The eventual result is overgrazing where palatable species are excessively consumed leading to their disappearance. Since no systematic activities are carried out to collect seeds of such nutritive and palatable species, rangeland will be turned into areas covered with species that are known being of little acceptance to livestock species with low nutrients contents.

To recommend for candidate species, those highly good quality and palatable species must be determined, their nutritive value be accessed before being selected for conservation.


1.2 The objective of the study


The overall objective of this study is to assist in conservation, rehabilitation and development of the rangelands and sustain their productivity and ensure proper utilization of the resource as main feed source for the national herd.

Specifically this study is proposed to examine:


1.      The chemical composition of one of most promising range plant that is seen being potentially fodder crop.  Alysicarpus monilifer or Fraisha as it is locally known grows wildly on rangelands or as weed on field crops and harvested for sale or for feeding stocks. Its chemical composition is not investigated nor its feeding value and potential harms that may arise upon consumption of its biomass.

2.      Effects of feed Alysicarpus monlifer biomass to goats on feed intake, live body weight change and in Vitro digestibility.

3.      Possible adverse effects of ingestion of this plant hay if any.   





The study area


The study was conducted in Elobeid, North Kordofan State, Sudan (longitude 290-34', 300-30' East) and the latitudes (120-25', 130-30' North) with an area of ​​8080 km2. This City is the capital of Sheikan locality and North Kordofan State. Sheikan is characterized by undulating plains, depressions; sand covered with hilly areas and some mountain clusters. There are three climatic regions that cover North Kordofan State. These are dry, semi-arid dry and low rainfall savanna on sand areas. The long term average rain is between 250-400 mm. The maximum temperature is 40-42 mm and the minimum is 13 ° C. In the semi-arid region, rainfall is between 300-600 mm and the maximum temperature is 390 Celsius.

The humidity reaches 11-15 % during the dry season. In the autumn, the air humidity reaches 65-67% (Elobeid Meteorology Department office,1999). Rain fall as sporadic showers in May and becomes regular from June to October.  It usually heavier in July and reaches peak in August before declining in September to reach its lower pattern in October.   Temperatures are modified by rain at this time though it is hot and humid in general. Temperature and precipitation drops from the amount of evaporation in July and August and the highest rainfall recorded in 2010 was 620 mm (Sheikan locality, 2011).

This city is also considered the largest market for gum Arabic, as primary and important market of livestock brought from different parts of western and Southern Sudan in a continuous movement of the presence of different types of animals. There are some food industries and Agro-industrial companies such as vegetable oil production and flour mills (local Sheikan 2011). Suburban and rural areas are farming and livestock producing areas. 

There are trees of Hashab (Acacia senegal), Marrekk (Boscia senegalensis)   and Seyal (Acacia tortilis) in the northern regions. Southern and central parts are covered with desert palm (Balanites aegyptiaca), Sidr (Ziziphus spina-christi), tebeldi (Adansonia digitata) habeel (Combretum cordofanum), kitr (Acacia mellifera), ghobeesh (Guiera senegalensis ), Haraz (Faiherbia albida ), Arrad (Albizzia amara), Aradaib (Tamarindus indica) and many other trees and shrubs species of the zones indicated above. The under storey is dominantly covered with Desert goat bucks where used in study. The animals were divided into three similar groups each with four animals.  The bucks were individually penned, equipped with feeding and drinking troughs. Prior to commencement of treatments the bucks were ear-tagged, vaccinated against diseases endemic to the study area such as anthrax and Hemorrhagic septicemia and drenched with broad spectrum anthelminthic (Ivomic ) at 0.5cc/head. Ten days were allowed for bucks to be adapted for feed and treatments. The adaptation period was also necessary for removal of the effects of the feed previously taken. The bucks were weighed at the beginning of the trial and once every for 8 week at the end of the trial to monitor their weight changes as affected by type of ration

herbs such as Alysicarpus species (Fraisha), Zornia gleochidiata (lisaig), Cassia obtusiflora (Kawal), Cassia occidentals (Soreib), Amaranethesis flavicans (Lisaneltair) , Blepharis linarrifolia (Beghail)and many others. Grasses dominant in this are Eragrostis tremula (bino), Aristidapallida (gaw), Cenchrus biflorus (Huskaneetkhashin) ,C.  setigrus (Huskaneet Naeem) Pennisetum pedicellatum (Umdofofo) and others,( Khatir and Jadalla, 2014).


The Experimental Animals


The Experimental Feed


Alysicarpus monilifer hay was harvested from the rangeland and used first as sole diet for one group and another group was offered, the second group was fed with the natural grazing free of Alysicarpus monilifer and the third group was fed groundnut haulms. After a week it was observed that the first group got detrimental case of diarrhea recording mortality of two buck that was why their feed regimen was changed by offering 50% the experimental hay and 50% of the natural grazing that was also harvested from the rangeland in the area after adding another two buck.


Chemical Analysis


The Alysicarpus monilifer, natural grazing and the groundnut haulms biomass was analyzed using proximate analysis as described by the Association of the Official Analytical chemists (A O A C, 2000). In Vitro dry matter and organic matter and in vivo nutrients digestibility was determined according to Telly and Terrie (1967) and McDonalds et al.,(2010).


Statistical Analysis


The experimental design was a complete randomized design (CRD) that had three treatments with four replicates. The data was analyzed using analysis of variance (Steel and Torrie, 1996). The difference among treatment means were detected using least significance difference (Gomez  andGomez, 1996).





Chemical composition of the experimental feed


Chemical composition of natural grazing biomass hay harvested at late growth stages, natural grazing plus 50% of the studied plant biomass and groundnut haulms is presented in table (1). Dry matter was highest when the natural grazing was offered as sole diet ( 95.51% ) and decreased to 93.21 and 91.25 % upon replacing some of the Alysicarpus monilifer with  natural grazing biomass hay at 50% and groundnut, haulms respectively.  While organic matter reached 88.23 % for the natural grazing alone to 81.14 and 78.25% for inclusion of the tested plant biomass and that of groundnut haulms respectively.  Hence ash was 7.28 % for the natural grazing and 11.07 and % 13.00% when natural grazing biomass hay constituted 50 % of the total feed intake or the groundnut haulms was used. The  plant biomass was highest in crude protein for the natural grazing and  50 % Alysicarpus monilifer  but decreased to 4.11%  for the natural grazing alone and to 13.34 %  for the groundnut haulms when was consumed as sole diet respectively. Crude fiber was the highest in samples of the natural grazing that was analyzed alone (37.25%) but decreased to 35.76 and 34.85% respectively upon replacement of the natural grazing (NG) with 50 % of the study plant biomass and that of groundnut haulms. Ether extract was1.23, 3.25 and 3.53 % when the biomass of the natural grazing alone, natural grazing plus 50% Alysicarpus monilifer or groundnut haulms, respectively and it was 1.2% in the natural grazing free of the studied plant. The differences were significant (P<0.01) for EE in the three diets. Ash percentage was 7.28, 11.07 and 13.00 % when the natural grazing was consumed solely, with Fraisha and 50% NG and that of groundnut haulms compared nitrogen free extracts reached highest 48.10% when the natural grazing was analyzed alone and 38.75 with biomass of Alysicarpus monlifer and 50% NG compared with 30.06 for the groundnut haulms respectively.                     


In Vitro dry matter and organic matter digestibility


In Vitro dry matter and organic matter digestibility is presented in table (2).






Table 1. Chemical composition of natural grazing biomass hay



Type of feed















Alysicarpus monilifer








Plus Natural grazing 50%








Groundnut haulms



The In vitro dry matter and organic matter digestibility (IVDMD) and organic matter IVOMD as affected by the level of Alysicarpus monilifer hay is presented in table (2).The coefficient of DMD was higher the natural grazing free of Alysicarpus monilifer but it was the highest for the groundnut haulms 67.45 %  and last biomass of the natural grazing plus 50% Alysicarpus monilifer biomass (45.67%).  Similarly In vitro organic matter digestibility was highest when the groundnut haulms. The natural grazing alone had 56.45 % in vitro dry matter digestibility. The In vitro organic matter digestibility was 57.55, 48.61 and 69.65 % when the natural grazing was used alone, NG with 50% natural grazing biomass hay biomass and the groundnut haulms respectively.



Table (2).In vitro dry matter and organic Matter digestibility of the experimental feed


Organic matter

Dry matter

Feed type




Alysicarpus monilifer alone




+50%natural grazing biomass hay




Groundnut haulms



Apparent digestibility of nutrients


Apparent digestibility of nutrients as affected by of intake of Alysicarpus monilifer, pure range grazing supplemented, Alysicarpus monilifer plus 50% and the groundnut haulms is presented in table (2). Dry matter digestibility found being 45, 41 and 65 %  and it was the highest when the groundnut haulms  ingested followed by that of Alysicarpus monilifer with natural grazing  at 50 % and lastly  those bucks which consumed Alysicarpus monilifer alone. Organic matter digestibility similarly varied according to the level of the plant biomass ingested. At groundnut haulms, % OMD was the highest followed by values  obtained from bucks fed the natural grazing alone and the NG with 50% Alysicarpus monilifer hay when it was found to be 50 % compared to natural grazing alone the value were respectively 49. 46 and 67.% for the groundnut haulms and the natural grazing with %  Alysicarpus monilifer and NG alone. Crude protein digestibility reached to 70 % in bucks consumed groundnut haulms followed by those fed Alysicarpus monilifer as half of the biomass consumed and that reached to 50% while for the natural grazing alone it was 50% only  The differences were significant (P<0.01). Crude fiber digestibility has also shown similar trend. It was 30%when the level of natural grazing biomass hay biomass constituted 50.%with Alysicarpus monilifer and became 34% and when natural grazing was fed alone and upon feeding bucks with the groundnut haulms it was 45%. The digestibility of ether extract was 60,54.and 77% when the bucks were fed the  natural grazing alone, NG with 50 % Alysicarpus monilifer and groundnut haulms  respectively.



Table (3). Apparent nutrients digestibility coefficients of natural grazing biomass hay biomass as supplement to Alysicarpus monilifer for bucks











Dry matter





Organic matter





Crude protein





Crude fiber





Ether extract





Nitrogen Free extract

I=natural grazing biomass hayII= groundnut haulms III= Alysicarpus monilifer plus natural grazing biomass haySE= standard Error


Bucks performance as affected by ingestion of different Levels of Alysicarpus monilifer biomass hay

Bucks overall performance as affected by ingestion of different Levels of Alysicarpus monilifer biomass is presented in table (4). During the preliminary period the biomass of the plant was given to one group as sole diet and after three days it was observed that bucks started showing good appetite and ingested substantial amount of the biomass followed by diarrhea that could not be explained and all samples analyzed and treatments used were found ineffective. two animals were lost as mortality started. At that moment the feeding pattern was then changed by reducing Alysicarpus monilifer biomass to half and that stopped diarrhea. The performance is summarized in table (4).



Table (4). Bucks performance as affected by the level of Alysicarpus monilifer hay










No of Animals





Days on trial





Initial weight





Final weight





Total feed intake (kg)





Daily feed intake ( g)





Daily weight gain (g)

I=natural grazing II= groundnut haulms III= Alysicarpus monilifer +natural grazing





Chemical composition of Alysicarpus monilifer hay


The feed ingredients used in this study have shown significant differences (P<0.05) in their dry matter content when they were analyzed after being shade dried. This is attributed to their nature of growth as different plant species though on similar environmental conditions. However organic matter varied with type of biomass analyzed and so the ash fraction. The OM was higher in the Alysicarpus monilifer hay that had lower ash content followed by the groundnut haulms and lastly the natural grazing. Similarly Ellis (1999) has reported that forbs in Sudan were lower in their ash content than grasses. Protein content was higher in Alysicarpus monilifer followed by the groundnut hay and then the natural grazing that was comprised mostly of grasses. Jadalla (1995) reported that natural grazing at late maturity stage was low in its CP content reaching as low as 4 % and the groundnut haulms up to 7%. Crude fiber content was higher in the natural grazing and similar in Alysicarpus monilifer biomass and groundnut haulms. Due to high percentage of grasses in the natural grazing at late maturity stage, it was normal to observe such higher CF content in that biomass. Mohamed and Salih (1991) concluded that natural grazing at late maturity stage had had highest CF. The ether extract was highest in the biomass of Alysicarpus monilifer followed by the groundnut haulms and lowest in the natural grazing.  Grasses are always low in EE fraction than in legumes and herbs.


Effects of ingestion of Alysicarpus monilifer on In vitro dry matter and organic Matter digestibility


The in vitro dry matter digestibility, IVDMD, was highest in groundnut haulms followed by the biomass that constituted 50 % Alysicarpus monilifer and finally the natural grazing alone. Similar trend was observed for in vitro organic matter digestibility coefficients. The lower IVDMD The lower in vitro digestibility coefficient for Alysicarpus monilifer biomass might be attributed to its higher content of tannins as reported by Ørskov and McDonald (1979) who carried out an experiment for estimation of protein degradability in the rumen from incubation measurements weighed according to rate of passage and found that tannin content could jeopardize in vitro dry natter and organic matter digestibility in ruminants. Tannin content was not determined in the studies biomass types but it is known that grasses do not contain any substantial amounts of tannins and the level of tannin in groundnut haulms was found being only 4.3% tannin according to Jadalla et al.,(2012). 


Effects of ingestion of Alysicarpus monilifer on Nutrients Digestibility


Apparent nutrients digestibility coefficients in diet of Alysicarpus monilifer hay, natural grazing and groundnut haulms varied significantly and were greater in the bucks that were on groundnut haulms. Consuming biomass of the studied plant showed lower coefficients and that could be attributed to higher anti-nutritional content of that biomass. Those substances were not detected in laboratory, but it was reported that it might contain such ingredients. The animals got diarrhea upon ingestion of Alysicarpus monilifer biomass as sole hay and high mortality % was recorded in the group on that biomass and could be stopped when the feeding pattern was changed to include natural grazing containing dominantly grasses.        


Effects of consuming Alysicarpus monilifer on Performance of sheep


Changes in body weights of animals during the experimental period have shown that the group that was fed Alysicarpus monilifer biomass as sole hay did not gain weight, all got diarrhea leading to mortality. When part of that biomass was replaced by the natural grazing of grasses, their performance improved and they gained weight. The weight gain was higher for the group on groundnut hay. There was significant (P< 0.01) increase in body weights of all groups along the experimental period with the exception after taking the tested biomass as supplement. The feed intake was not significantly(P> 0.05) in the three groups and it seems that the biomass of Alysicarpus monilifer was of good palatability to the two groups.






It was concluded that the Biomass of Alysicarpus monilifer at the growth stage analyzed can be classified as good quality roughage from its chemical composition where its crude fiber content is 8.6 and nitrogen free extract being 67.45%. So if further analyses prove it being free of serious anti-nutritional factors, it can be used with for ruminants feeding.

In this study it has been discovered that ingestion of Alysicarpus monilifer hay as sole diet could initiate diarrhea that might lead to mortality. Restricted use has shown that animals could eat more.

In vitro dry matter and organic matter digestibility were depressed in biomass with higher levels of Alysicarpus monilifer. In vivo digestibility was also affected similarly. That affects might be attributed to high tannin content.




It is recommended that:


1.      Advanced analyses to determine anti- nutritional content of the plant biomass.

2.      Factors initiating diarrhea in goats upon ingestion of Alysicarpus monilifer. Biomass be determined.

3.      Mineral content of the tested plant hay be investigated.

4.      Factors affecting In vivo and In vitro digestibility be determined.

5.      Farming practices concerning production of Alysicarpus fodder crop be studied since this plant biomass is now harvested from rangelands and sold as fodder crop. It grows well with other field crops and it is always seen as a type of intercropped species.      





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Cite this Article: Tibin, MAM; Bukhari, SAES; Ezairig, MAA; Dahia, SBH; Abdalla, SEM; Jadalla, JB (2021). Effects of Alysacrpus Monilifera Fodder Intake on Feed Consumption and Performance of Desert Goats in Elobeid, Sudan. Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences 11(4): 262-267.