Nutrient Intake and Digestibility of Selected Browses and Guinea Grass Hay of West African Dwarf Rams

  • Adebisi, I.A.
  • Okunlola, O.O.
  • Oladepo, O.
  • Ajibike, A.B.
  • Amusa, H.O.
  • Alalade, J.A.
  • Olorunkosebi, Z.A.
Keywords: Guinea grass, hay, Megathyrsus maximus, WAD rams, digestibility

Abstract

Browse legume plants generate a lot of underutilized leaves which if properly harnessed can be a cheap source of nutrients for small ruminant production, during dry season feed shortages. In this study, the nutrient intake and digestibility of West African dwarf (WAD) growing rams fed selected browse fodders with guinea grass hay basal diet was determined in a 70-day feeding trial. A total of sixteen (16) growing WAD rams between 6 - 9 months of age with an average body weight of 9.00 - 12.00 kg were randomly allocated to four treatments with 4 rams each and 2 rams per replicate in a completely randomized design. The experimental diet was fed at 3% body weight of individual ram while Gmelina arborea (GA), Sesbian sesban (SS) and Ficus thonningii (FT) fodders were fed at varied proportions with Megathyrsus maximus (MM) hay. The treatment diets were: T1 (100%MM hay), T2 (70%MM hay: 30%GA), T3 (70%MM hay: 30%SS) and T4 (70% MM hay: 30% FT). There were significant (P<0.05) differences in all parameters determined across the dietary treatments. Rams fed diet T4 recorded higher values of DM intake (256.19g/d), CP intake (55.97g/d), EE intake (7.44g/d), ash intake (30.75g/d) and, NFE (108.28g/d) while the lower values of DM intake (184.29g/d), CP intake (19.60g/d), EE intake (3.11g/d), ash intake (16.70g/d) and NFE intake (75.07g/d) was observed in rams fed diet T1. Rams maintained on the T3 diet had the highest DM digestibility (73.68%), while the lowest value (67.25%) for DMD was recorded on rams fed diet T1. Rams fed diet T1 recorded the least crude protein digestibility (78.01%) while the highest value (85.76%) was recorded in those fed diet T3. The highest value for CF digestibility (68.45%) was recorded for rams fed T4 diet while the least value (64.87%) was recorded in those on T1 diet. It can be concluded that 70% Megathyrsus maximus hay + 30% S. sesban fodder combination enhanced nutrient intake and digestibility in growing WAD rams.

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Published
2023-01-25
How to Cite
Adebisi, I.A., Okunlola, O.O., Oladepo, O., Ajibike, A.B., Amusa, H.O., Alalade, J.A., & Olorunkosebi, Z.A. (2023). Nutrient Intake and Digestibility of Selected Browses and Guinea Grass Hay of West African Dwarf Rams. Nigerian Journal of Animal Science and Technology (NJAST), 5(4), 78 - 87. Retrieved from https://njast.com.ng/index.php/home/article/view/230