Comparative studies of nutrients intake and haemato-biochemical indices of bucks fed at three different times of the day
This study objective was to assess the effect of time of feeding on nutrients intake and haemato-biochemical indices of West African dwarf (WAD) bucks. Fifteen bucks with an initial live-weight of 7.50 ± 0.35 kg aged between 8 – 12 months were grouped into three treatments and five replicates for 115 days. The bucks were fed once daily in the morning, noon or evening either at 06:00, 12:00 or 18:00 hour for 90 days respectively under natural light-dark cycles. The experimental diets were Panicum maximum (Guinea grass) and concentrate diets at 50:50 % DM ratio. Serum glucose in evening fed-bucks was significantly higher (p<0.02) than noon and morning-fed buck. Nitrogen retention also increased from dawn to dusk with the morning-fed bucks (64.31 ± 3.79 %) having significantly lowest (p<0.02) value, while evening-fed bucks had the highest (74.73 ± 1.15 %) nitrogen retention. However, time of feeding did not significantly affect (p>0.05) nutrient digestibility, haematological parameters, total protein, lipid profile, and mineral utilization. Feeding animals in the evening or early hours of the morning may be healthy for livestock in a changing climate.