Effect of Different Levels of Soybean /Glycine Max/ Meal Supplementation on Feed Intake, Digestibility, Live Weight Changes, and Carcass Characteristics of Black Head Ogaden Sheep
Sheep is an important animal kept as livestock in Ethiopia. However, productivity of the animal is constrained by scarcity of feed. Therefore, an experiment was carried out using twenty-four yearling male Black Head Ogaden sheep with an initial body weight of 12.95 ± 1.79 kg (mean ± SD) to evaluate the effect of different levels of soybean meal supplementation to natural pasture hay on feed intake, digestibility, average daily body weight gain, and carcass characteristics. The experimental sheep were blocked into six blocks of four animals based on initial body weight and randomly assigned to one of the four treatments. Treatments were ad libitum feeding of natural pasture hay and + 50 g/day wheat bran (T1) supplemented with 125 g/day soybean meal (T2), 250 g/day soybean meal (T3), 375 g/day soybean meal (T4). The experiment consisted of 90 days of feeding and 7 days of digestibility trials followed by evaluation of carcass. Supplementation of SBM increased dry matter and crude protein digestibility but neutral detergent fiber and acid detergent fiber digestibilities decreased with increasing levels of SBM supplementation. Average daily body weight gain and hot carcass was significantly increased as soybean supplementation increased. Dressing percentages both on pre-slaughter (37.3, 44.6, 46.4 and 48.6% (SEM = 0.94) and empty body weight (48.4, 51.9, 54.2 and 59.7% (SEM = 0.94)) basis for T1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively were highest for T4, intermediate for T3, and T2, and the lowest for T1. It could be concluded that feeding the Black Head Ogaden sheep on natural pasture hay supplemented with 375 g/day soybean meal resulted in superior biological as well as economic productivity.
Keywords: Body Weight Change; Digestibility Dressing Percentage; [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]
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