Azolla pinnata has received recent attention as non-conventional feed for ruminant animals. The effects of Azolla pinnata on nutrient digestibility, growth performance and blood metabolites of growing Ardi goats were explored. Twenty one growing Ardi goats, 27.0 ± 0.40 kg body weight and aged 4.0 - 5.0 months, were randomly allocated to three equal groups (seven/group) as Azolla pinnata (10.0 and 20.0 % daily feed) and control groups. The trial lasted 12 weeks. Feed intake, feed efficiency, and body weight gain were determined. In addition, nutrients’ digestibility were determined. Blood samples were collected for determination of plasma proteins, glucose, liver enzymes and minerals parameters. The results indicated that Azolla pinnata contain protein (32.83%), crude fiber (13.6%), ether extract (1.17%) and ash (3.89%). Upon feeding, replacement diet with 20.0% Azolla pinnata caused significant increase in feed efficiency and body weight gain. In addition, the plasma metabolites (total protein, globulin, and urea) and minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium) were improved due to 20.0% Azolla pinnata feeding. In conclusion, Azolla pinnata contain high protein compounds and other components might be helpful in modulating body weight gain and plasma metabolites if fed to growing goats in subtropics.
Keywords | Azolla pinnata, Growth, Digestibility, Plasma, Metabolite