Nutrient Intake, Digestibility and Nitrogen Balance of Growing Yankasa Rams Fed Urea Treated and Ensiled Millet Stover Based Diet with Supplements
This study was conducted at the Small Ruminant Unit of the Teaching and Research Farm, Federal University Dutsinma, Katsina State to investigate the effect of feeding urea treated and ensiled millet stover based diets with supplements on nutrient intake, digestibility and nitrogen balance in growing Yankasa. rams. Thirty (30) growing Yankasa rams weighing 16.35 to 18.21 kg were allotted to six treatments of five animals per treatment in a Completely Randomized Design. Four kilograms of urea was dissolved in 100 litres of water, sprinkled on 100 kg of crushed millet stover, ensiled for 21 days and used as a basal diet. The supplement consisted of 300 g of cottonseed cake, Faidherbia albida meal, CSC and maize offal, FA and maize offal, CSC and wheat offal and FA and wheat offal, designated as diets 1,2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. All supplements were fed 150 g twice daily. Three (3) Yankasa rams of each diet were randomly selected to determine nutrient intake, digestibility and nitrogen balance. The study lasted for 90 days. Nutrient intake (NI, g/day), faecal (unit) and urine (unit) outputs were recorded. Results indicated that DMI were similar (P>0.05) with higher intake (628.95g/day) in rams fed diet containing FA and MO followed by 615.81g/day CSC and MO and CSC and WO (608.60g/day). The digestibilities of dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) were higher (P<0.05) in rams fed diet containing CSC and MO while Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF) and Acid Detergent Fibre (ADF) were higher (P<0.05) in rams fed diet containing CSC sole compared to other treatment diets. The quantity of N retained by the rams was higher (P<0.05) in treatment containing CSC and MO (4.36g/day) compared to those fed FA and WO (2.08g/day) and FA sole (1.74g/day). It is concluded that farmers should feed CSC and MO as supplement to growing Yankasa rams fed urea treated and ensiled millet stover based diets for optimum production under peasant production system.
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