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Stylosanthes hamata spacing effect on utilization of Andropogon tectorum by west African dwarf sheep
Twenty four West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep of an average initial weight range of 10.14- 10.50 kg were used to investigate the feed intake and digestibility of Andropogon tectorum interplanted with Stylosanthes hamata at varying inter-row spacing of 0, 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5m. The grasses cut from experimental plots were used as experimental diets 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively. Animals were randomly distributed (after acclimatization) to the four treatments using a completely randomized experimental design (CRD). The initial weight, final weight and average feed intake were monitored while average daily feed intake, average daily weight gain, nutrient digestibility and nitrogen balance were determined. All the data obtained were subjected to one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) as packaged by SAS (2000). The nutrient intake was significantly (P<0.05) influenced with T2 (2.5m legume inter row spacing) having the highest value. Final weight gain and average daily weight were significantly higher in T2. It gradually decreased as the legume inter-row spacing increased. The nutrient digestibility as well as nitrogen balance followed the same trend. It can be inferred from this finding that varied legume inter-row spacing influenced the nutritional potential of the grass, which also affected the performance of the animal fed the grasses.