Performance of West African Dwarf (WAD) Goats Fed Tridax and Siam Weed in Ficus Based Diets
Twelve West African dwarf goats weighing between 4.5kg to 5.5kg were used to study the effect replacement of Tridax and Siam weed in Ficus based diet. The goats were divided into three dietary treatments with attention to the body weights with four replicate per treatment. The diets were fed for a period of 25days in order to investigate the influence of the replaced forage mixture on feed intake and nutrient digestibility, also on the level of the serum metabolites as factor of influence. Goats maintained on Ficus-Tridax forage mixture consumed more dry matter than goats fed Ficus only and Ficus-Siam mixture. The average values were 186.57g/day for Ficus, 202.56g/day for Ficus-Tridax mixture, and 145.0g/day for Ficus-Siam mixture per goat. The nature of the feed influence the digestibilities of the nutrients, the relative values of which were statistically (p<0.05) significant. The values of crude fiber digestibility in the treatment were not significantly different (p<0.05). The result of serum metabolites anaylsed showed no statistical difference (p<0.05), so all the forage feeds tested could cause no harm of significant measure to the animals, results of this study suggest that Tridax can be effectively used to feed small ruminant most especially the WAD goat and it serves as alternative browse plant for the scarce forages during the dry season.