Ileal apparent digestibility of amino acids (AA) in a cassava root meal and soya-bean meal diet without and with an inclusion (150 g/kg) of sun-dried cassava leaves, ensiled cassava leaves, leucaena leaves and groundnut foliage was studied in a change-over experiment (5 ✕ 5) with post-valve T-caecum cannulated growing pigs.
The ileal apparent digestibility of dietary crude protein (CP) and AA were unaffected by the inclusion of groundnut foliage (P > 0·05). In contrast, when sun-dried and ensiled cassava leaves, and leucaena leaves were included in the diet the ileal apparent digestibility of dietary CP and AA were significantly reduced (P < 0·05).
The estimated ileal apparent digestibilities of essential and non-essential AA in groundnut foliage were higher (P < 0·05) than those of the other leaf products and there were no differences among cassava leaves and leucaena leaves (P > 0·05). On average ileal apparent digestibility of essential AA was 0·71 in groundnut meal and 0·56 in cassava and leucaena leaves.
It was concluded that, under tropical conditions, groundnut foliage has the potential to improve the dietary protein and AA supply and to replace partially soya-bean meal, in low fibre diets for growing pigs. Further, when conventional protein-rich foods are not available, cassava and leucaena leaves may also have the potential to improve the protein and AA supply for pigs.