Nutrient intake, digestibility and growth performance of yankasa sheep fed varying proportions of ficus polita and Pennisetum pedicellatum supplemented with wheat-offal
The nutrient intake, digestibility and growth performance of Yankasa sheep was evaluated on 16 Yankasa rams of approximately 1 - 11/2 years old with average initial weight of 25kg. Ficus polita was fed with Pennisetum pedicellatum at different proportions of 100:0 (F. polita: P. pedicellatum) 0:100, 60: 40, and 40:60 constituting diets 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively. Each animal was supplemented with wheat offal at the rate of 1% body weight per head per day. The total basal feed intake (DM basis) was highly significant (P <0.01) which increased with decrease in the inclusion levels of Ficus polita in the diets. Animals fed diet 1 (100% FP) recorded the least total basal feed intake of 676.76g/day, while those on the 100% PP diet obtained the highest value of 1280.94g/day. Daily dry matter intake (DDMI) values of 959.95, 1564.14, 114.28 and 1307.58g/day were obtained for animals fed diets 1,2,3, and 4 respectively, indicating that the DDMI also followed similar trend as the total basal feed intake. Other nutrients intake including crude protein intake (89.42-129.06g/day), crude fibre (209.78-391.46g/day) and nitrogen free extract (5 11.91-743.16g/day) followed similar pattern as DDMI. However, the intake of ether extract was highest (P<0.01) for animals on treatment 4 (40% FP/60%PP) (40.7g/day) and lowest for those on treatment 1 (100% FP) (25.99g/day). Water intake was not significant (P>0.05) across the treatments. The result of the daily weight gain showed significantly (P<0.05) higher values (47.57g/day) for animals fed diet 4 (40% FP/60% PP), while those on diet 1 (100% FF) recorded the least (26.14g/day). Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) result showed significant difference (P< 0.05) across the treatments, with animals in treatment 4 (40% FP/60%PP) having best FCR (27.48) while those fed diet 2 had the lowest (38.69), indicating that animals on diet 4 utilized their diets more efficiently compared to others. The result of nutrients digestibility showed that Crude Protein Digestibility (CPD) showed significant difference (P< 0.05), with animals on diet 1 (100% FP) having the least (44.29%) and highest for those on the other treatments. Feed cost per kg gain was least for animals fed diet 4 (N17.66), and high for animals on diet 1 (N32.13). It was concluded that feeding various levels of Ficus polita and Pennisetum pedicellatum supplemented with wheat offal to Yankasa sheep improved total dry matter intake which gave rise to daily weight gain of the animals and reduced feed cost per kg gain especially for animals feed diet 4 (40%FPL/60% PPG).
Key words: Digestibility, Ficus polita, growth, nutrient intake, Pennisetum pedicellatum, wheat-offal, Yankasa sheep