Evaluation of sorghum hull serving as feed alternative on growth performance, nutrients digestibility and plasma metabolites for growing goats

  • Kang Yang
  • Wenxuan WuEmail author
  • Xingzhou Tian
  • E. Han
  • Lun Sun


Sorghum is quite rich in our region, however, its by-product, sorghum hull (SH), has not been reported as feed alternatives till now. This study is aimed to evaluate the potential of SH as feed alternatives for growing goats by measuring growth performance, nutrients digestibility and plasma metabolites. Forty goats were allocated to 4 blocks of 10 goats each. Animals were fed 1 of 4 diets displaced by varying SH levels for wheat bran. The displaced levels were 0 (control), 5% (treatment 1), 10% (treatment 2) and 15% (treatment 3), respectively. Feeding of SH had no effect on dry matter intake for 4 treatments (P > 0.05). Treatment 2 resulted in higher average net gain (P < 0.05) compared with control. Average daily gain and feed conversion ratio were increased (P < 0.05) for treatment 1 and treatment 2 relative to control. The crude protein digestibility in 3 treatments was higher than control (P < 0.05). Goats fed treatment 1 and treatment 2 had lower plasma urea nitrogen (P < 0.05) and malondialdehyde levels over control (P < 0.05). Plasma concentrations of glucose, alanine aminotransferase, uric acid, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, triglyceride, creatinine, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, total protein and albumin were unaffected by SH treatments (P > 0.05). These results indicated that SH was beneficial to growth performance, nutrients digestibility and plasma metabolites, thus, could be used as a feed alternative for growing goats.


Sorghum hull Feed alternative Growth performance Nutrients digestibility Plasma metabolites Growing goats 



Sorghum hull


Dry matter


Crude protein


Neutral detergent fiber


Acid detergent fiber


Dry matter intake


Average daily gain


Average net gain


Feed conversion ratio


Organic matter



This study is financially supported by the Science and Technology Project of Guizhou province ([2018]1403), National Natural Science Foundation of China (20130563) and Construction Program of Biology First-class Discipline in Guizhou (GNYL[2017]009). The authors would like to thank animal nutrition laboratory of Guizhou university for providing feeding trial site and chemical analysis facilities for this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that there are no present or potential conflicts of interest among the authors and other people or organizations that could inappropriately bias their work.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Animal SciencesGuizhou UniversityHuaxi District, GuiyangChina
  2. 2.Institute of New Rural DevelopmentGuizhou UniversityHuaxi District, GuiyangChina
  3. 3.Engineering Key Laboratory of Plateau Mountain Livestock Pollution Control and Resource Reuse Technology of Guizhou ProvinceGuiyangChina

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