Physical Properties of Ensiled Maize and Legumes Stover and Acceptability by West African Dwarf goats
Maize stover is a left-over of maize plant in the field after harvesting the grains. It can serve as potential feed for ruminants if it is well processed and preserved especially during the dry season when there is scarcity of feed. Consequently, a study was carried out to investigate the physical properties of ensiled maize and legumes stover and acceptability by West Afican Dwarf (WAD) goats. Maize stover were ensiled for 64 days using different legumes stover (bambaranut, groundnut, soya bean and cajanus cajan stover) at ratio 4:1 (i.e 80% maize stover + 20% legumes stover) to obtain the following silages: Maize Stover only (control) Maize stover and bambaranut stover (MSBS), Maize stover and groundnut stover (MSGS), Maize stover and soya bean stover (MSSS) and Maize stover and cajanus cajan stover (MSCS). Seven WAD goats were used to assess the silage acceptability using coefficient of preference (CoP) procedure. The pH, colour, texture, moisture content (MC) and dry matter (DM) were determined in laboratory using standard techniques. The bright light green and, greenish-brown colour, firm texture, vinegar like odour observed for this study indicate that the silages were well prepared and preserved. The temperature, pH, MC and DM values ranged from 26.85 – 28.50oC, 3.80 – 3.89, 55.11– 62.01% and 37.99 – 44.89%, respectively. The pH, MC and DM were similar across the treatments, however temperature of control silage (MS only) was significantly (P<0.05) different from ensiled maize stover with cajanus cajan stover (MSCS). Acceptability study of the silages showed that MSGS, MSCS and MS (control) were preferred to other silage types. However, mean daily consumption (MDCg/day) suggests that with time goats will accept the other silage types. The results of this work showed that ensiled maize stover with legumes stover can be utilized by goats if it is well prepared and preserved.
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