Performance of Red Sokoto Bucks Fed Guinea Grass (Panicum maximum) with Iron Tree (Prosopis africana) Pods as Supplement in Taraba State, Nigeria
This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of Iron tree (Prosopis africana) pods supplementation on the performance of Red Sokoto bucks fed Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) as basal diet for 105 days. Five diets were formulated thus: T1 (sole grass), T2 (600g grass +300g prosopis pods), T3(600g grass +350g prosopis pods), T4 (600g grass +400g prosopis pods), T5(600g grass +450g prosopis pods). Twenty (20) red sokoto bucks were assigned to the five treatment diets and replicated four times in a completely randomized design (CRD). The Red Sokoto bucks aged between 6 and 8 months with average weight ranging from 7.28 -10.12kg. Prosopis had values of 96.5, 19 and 29 for dry matter, crude protein and crude fibre, respectively while Guinea grass had corresponding values of 98.0, 19.5 and 7.5%. Growth performance showed that average daily feed intake was significantly different (P<0.05) across the treatment groups. Highest daily feed intake of 0.53kg/buck was obtained in T1 with 0% prosopis, while bucks fed 450g prosopis had least (0.48kg/buck). Total feed intake followed the same trend with the highest value (45.30kg) in T1 and least in T5(40.51kg). Average daily weight gain was significantly different (P<0.05) across the treatment groups with the highest value of 0.07kg obtained among bucks fed 400g and 450g prosopis pods in T4 and T5. Final weight and total body weight followed same trend. Nutrient intake increased with supplementation level as obtained with dry matter (210.67-260.18g/day), crude protein (4.67-6.93g/day) and crude fibre (52.90-87.36g/day) in T5. Acid detergent fibre and neutral detergent fibre reduced with level of supplementation (1.08-1.89 and 1.05 -1.78g). Significant difference (P<0.05) occurred with digestibility of crude protein, crude fibre, ether extract and ash, while none(P>0.05) was observed with dry matter and nitrogen free extract. All haematological and biochemical indices examined were not significantly (P>0.05) affected by the treatment. The feed cost was constant (N65.45kg) cross the treatments. Therefore, it could be concluded that up to 450g of prosopis pod can be included in the diets of bucks without adverse effect on the parameters evaluated.
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