Ensiling Compatibilities of Grass and Legume Forages in Northern Guinea Savannah of Nigeria
This experiment was conducted over two (2016 and 2017) Cropping Seasons to investigate grass-legume ensiling compatibilities, at National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) Shika. Field grown forages were harvested at 90 days post planting and ensiled for 21 days at a ratio of 70:30 in a 2 x 3 factorial arrangement laid in a Complete Randomized Design to give six treatments; T1: sole Elephant grass (SE), T2: sole maize (SM), T3: maize/lablab (ML), T4: maize/mucuna (MM), T5: Elephant grass/lablab (EL) and T6: Elephant grass/mucuna (EM), replicated three times. Results showed that the pH value of the compounded silages were moderate to fair, ranging from 3.87 for EL mixed silage to 5.99 dark green putrid silage produced by ML mixed silage. The result showed that effect of legumes in mixed grass-legumes silage significantly (P <0.05) affected chemical compositions of the compounded silages. The CP content ranged from 9.0% in SM silage to 15.36% in ML prepared silage. The study shows that silage compounded from maize/lablab produced dark green silage with high crude protein (15.36 %), ash (19.59%), calcium (0.31 %), magnesium (0.33 %) and sodium (2.13 %). Fiber fraction was significantly different (P<0.05) among the compounded silages. Highest ADF (44.50%), NDF (58.90%) and CNLS (39.30%) were recorded in SE silage. However, SM recorded higher HC (17.89%). ADL content was similar across all the treatments. It can also be concluded from this trial that for higher crude protein and minerals composition, silages should be compounded using Maize/Lablab harvested at 90 days post planting. Elephant grass and Mucuna legume produced good silage but cannot replace Maize and Lablab silage in terms of quality.
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