Crop residues and agro-industrial by-products used in traditional sheep and goat production in rural communities of Markudi LGA
AbstractA study of crop residues and agro-industrial by-products in Makurdi was conducted in June, 2008. Interview schedule was administered to farmers in five communities in Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria. Fourteen (14) crop residues and eleven (11) agro-industrial byproducts were identified. The crop residues were grouped under cereal crop residues (3), root crop residues (5), legume crop residues (3), and fruit crop residues (3). All the sampled respondents kept livestock and depend on the natural pasture as the main source of feed for their animals. The mean stock number per farmer in this study was 14.0 for goats and 10.2 for sheep with the highest numbers being in the Agan community. Crop residues collection in this area is done twice daily. The
source of crop residues in the area is generally close to the farmers’ residence being 400 metres away. Most of these crop residues are available and utilized all the year round and are fairly palatable to ruminant animal with a mean score of 2.0. Palatable and very palatable crop residues (with mean scores of 3.0 and 4.0, respectively), constitute 56.0%, while unpalatable materials constitute only 8.0% of all the residues. Most of the crop residues have low levels of anti nutrients and are therefore suitable for livestock feeding.