In a semiarid region of Zulia state, Venezuela, we studied the effect of five ages of the plant (42, 84, 126, and 168 days) on the levels of crude protein (CP), in vitro
digestibility of organic matter (IVDOM) and mineral samples in the fine fraction (pinna, petioles and stems under 5 mm in diameter) of Leucaena leucocephala
harvested in the dry season. The experimental design was random blocks with three replications. The IVDOM and content of CP fell significantly at 84 and 126 days, respectively, while maintained their values (P>0.01) at 168 days. The concentrations of minerals Ca, Mg, K, Fe, Mn, Se, Co, and Mo were found at appropriate levels, while P, Na, Cu, and Zn were below the critical level of impairment. Only Na increased (P<0.05) with increasing maturity, while Cu decreased its value. This pattern of digestibility and nutrient content of the OM displayed by L. leucocephala
, regarding the maturity of the plant, evidence its massive potential as a resource fodder to be used as a food source in ruminants in the dry season, as it allows management in the use of the legume strategically, given its property to maintain nutritional quality within the optimum levels, without the age of the plant and the drought conditions affect it significantly.