Nutrient intake and Growth Performance of Yankasa Rams Fed Sorghum Stover Based Diets Containing Graded Levels of Urea and Cotton Seed Cake
Eighty-four (84) days feeding trial was carried out to evaluate the response of growing Yankasa rams to complete sorghum stover based diets containing varying levels of different nitrogen sources with respect to nutrient intake, growth performance and economics of production. Complete diets containing 16% crude protein (CP) were prepared for the experiment. Urea was incorporated into the diets at 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2% vis-à-vis cottonseed cake at 20, 15, 10, 5 and 0% and designated as diets 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively. Twenty (20) growing Yankasa rams were used for the experiment and randomly allocated to five (5) treatment groups of four (4) animals each in a completely randomized designed (CRD). Rams were fed experimental diets and water ad libitum. The results of the experiment revealed significant (P<0.05) difference in the total feed intake (TFI) across the diets. Rams fed diets 3, 2 and 1 had higher intake (1142.09, 1133.68 and 1119.68g/day, respectively) while the least (886.30 g/day) was for those fed diet 4. Significantly (P<0.05) higher average daily weight gain (ADG) of 147.19 g/day was recorded in animals fed diet 3 while the lower values (66.14 and 84.00 g/day, respectively) were recorded in animals fed diets 4 and 5. Similarly, better fed utilization (7.17) was recorded in animals fed diet 3 while those on diet 4 had the least (12.53). Rams fed diet 3 had the lowest cost (N 550.10) per kg live-weight gain while animals on diet 4 had the highest (N 952). Higher feed cost savings of N 402.48 was recorded in animals fed diet 3, while those on diet 4 had no savings. Conclusively, animals fed diet 3 containing urea at 1% and cottonseed cake at 10% level of inclusion gave the better growth performance, feed conversion ratio and economics of production. Therefore, this diet can be recommended for growing Yankasa sheep.
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