Influence of Spondias mombin l (hog plum) on colostrum, milk composition and growth in west african dwarf sheep
Twelve lactating ewes and their 12 lambs were used to study the influence of the ethno-veterinary plant, Spondias mombin (hog plum) on colostrum and mature milk composition as well as lamb weights of African dwarf (WAD) ewes over a 12 week lactation period. The ewes were assigned to two treatments groups: T1 and T2, representing the control and treated ewes, respectively. Spondias mombin L was fed to ewes in treated (T2) group immediately after parturition at the rate of 1 kg/ewe/day. Colostrum was sampled on day three post partum, while mature milk sampling was done bi weekly. Lamb weights were taken at weekly intervals. Results showed that colostrum of ewes in the treated group had significantly higher (p<0.05) percent total solids (TS) (18.34±0.4 v 17.32±0.21) and solid-not-fat (SNF) (11.31±0.37 v 10.35±0.19) content than that of ewes in the
control group. Percentage milk lactose from treated ewes at week two was 3.98±0.05 and was significantly higher (p<0.05) than that of the control group, which had 3.74±0.04. Also ash content of milk of ewes in the treated group was 0.98±0.06 and was significantly higher (p<0.05) than milk ash of ewes in the control group, which was 0.65±0.06 at second week of lactation. At week 12, lactose content of the milk of the treated group was 4.57±0.07. This was significantly higher (p<0.05) than that of ewes in the control group, which was 4.30±0.09. Also ewes in the treated group had a significantly higher (p<0.05) milk protein than those in the control group (6.19±0.33 v 5.33±0.15). Lambs of treated ewes had higher weights than those in the control; however these higher values were not significantly different (p>0.05). Hog plum provides farmers with an alternative feeding material for lactating ruminants to help in galactogenesis as well as lactopoiesis, in the face of the global rising cost of grains used in the formulation of concentrate diets.
Keywords: Spondias mombin, hog plum, colostrum, milk West African Dwarf ewes