The potential of false yam as livestock feed: A review
False yam is a perennial shrub native to the savannah areas of West and Central Africa yielding large tubers which can weigh over 50 kg and contain high amounts of carbohydrates and other nutrients. The tuber, seeds and fruits have been used as food for humans across West to Central Africa especially during periods of famine. The leaves and tuber have also been used as a livestock feed. Extracts from the plant have antimalarial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory properties as well as a pesticide. However, the plant contains toxic compounds referred to as anti-nutritional factors which limit its utilization as a feed material. These anti-nutritional factors reduce the palatability, intake, growth performance and may even be lethal when taken beyond certain quantities. To enhance its usage as feed material, methods such as soaking, boiling, fermentation and/or a combination of these methods as well as the addition of additives have been studied by various researchers as a way of reducing or eliminating these toxic compounds and improving its nutritional content. The main aim of this review is to give an overview of the use of parts of the plant in feeding livestock and the processing methods employed to improve on its utilization. The false yam is an underexplored plant hence this review would provide literature on the utilization of the false yam plant as a potential source of feed and help open research gaps for further studies to enhance its utilization.
Keywords: Anti-nutritional factors, Digestibility, False yam, Feed intake, Icacina,
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