Haematological Parameters and Serum Biochemical Constituents of West African Dwarf Growing Rams fed Panicum maximum supplemented with Cajanus cajan Foliage Hay
The use of browse legume fodder as hay or silage with varying proportions of pasture grass has drawn attentions due to high protein efficiency, high digestible energy and total digestible nutrients. Hence, the feeding strategies to enhance the utilization of native pastures and browses by ruminants is paramount. In this study, a total of 30 growing West African Dwarf (WAD) rams of 6-9 months old weighing 10.75-11.68 kg were randomly grouped into six rams per treatment in a completely randomized design for 90 days feeding trial to assess the haematological and serum biochemical constituents of rams fed varying proportions of mixed Cajanus cajan (CJ) hay with Panicum maximum (PM) at 3% body weight per day (T1=100%PM, T2=70%PM30%CJ, T3=50%PM50%CJ, T4=30%PM70%CJ and T5=100%CJ). The result showed a significant (p<0.05) difference in all the haematological parameters across the dietary treatments except for mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) as the rams maintained on T5 diet had the highest packed cell volume (PCV, 24.16%) and haemoglobin (Hb, 8.00g/dl). The red blood cell (RBC) ranged 7.63 – 8.10 x 106/l showed significant difference across all treatments, while the highest white blood cell (WBC) value of 11.18 x 103/l was observed in rams maintained on T4 diet. Rams fed T5 diet had the highest total protein, Aspartate aminotransferase and Alanine aminotransferase of 6.18 g/dl, 59.38 I. UL and 19.31 I. UL respectively compared to ram fed T1 and T3 diets with TP (5.68g/dl), AST (47.22 I. UL) and ALT (15.77 I. UL) respectively. The study revealed that feeding 100%CJ hay diet has a good nutrient profile and enhanced the productivity of growing WAD rams in terms of PCV, Hb and RBC and improved serum metabolites in terms of total protein without any deleterious effects on the animal.
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