Sheep response to sugar cane tops supplemented with varying levels of Leucaena leucocephala foliage
This study was conducted to examine the response of West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep to sugarcane (Sacccharum officinarum) tops supplemented with varying levels of Leucaena leucocephala foliage. Twenty WAD sheep averaging 10.14kg were randomly divided into four groups of 5 replicates, and each group was fed sugarcane tops (SCT) supplemented with varying levels (0%, 25%, 50 and 75%) of Leucaena leucocephala foliage (LLF) in a completely randomized design. Results showed that sugarcane tops (SCT) supplementation with 25% LLF increased (p<0.05) weight gain of sheep. Dry matter intake (DMI) declined with increase in LLF supplementation in the diets. Influence of LLF inclusion in the diets significantly (P<0.05) increased serum biochemical profiles of experimental the animals. The inclusion of llf at 50% and 75% in diets III and IV respectively resulted in higher values serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (93.15iu/l and 109.l0iu/l) and serum glutamicpyruvate transaminase (25.25 and 39.85iu/l). However, supplementation of SCT with LLF at 25% seemed to be best as the animals had highest performance in term of DM1 (530.81 g/day) and weight gain (11.83kg). This can be interpreted to mean that improved animal performance can be achieved in the dry season with the use of grass (sugarcane tops) supplemented with 25% LLF without any deleterious effect on health.
Keywords: Sheep, Performance, Nitrogen Utilization, blood, sugarcane tops and LLF.