Blood profile of West African Dwarf (WAD) bucks fed raw and processed cocoa pod husk meal based – diets in the humid high rainforest zone of Nigeria
A 12-week feeding trial was carried out using 30 West African Dwarf (WAD) bucks of age between six and eight months with mean initial body weight of 9.36±1.31 kg, to determine the effect of sun-dried, urea-treated and fermented dietary cocoa pod husk meal (CPHM) as well as dietary CPHM with protein supplementation (African yam bean meal) on blood characteristics. Five experimental diets: T1 (0% CPHM-control), T2 (40% sundried CPHM), T3 (40% ureatreated CPHM), T4 (40% fermented CPHM) and T5 (40% CPHM and 10% African yambean) were formulated. Six animals per treatment were randomly assigned to the experimental diets using a CRD. Blood parameters (haematological and serum biochemical indices) were evaluated at the end of the feeding trial. Results of the study showed that the White blood cell counts, packed cell volume and red blood cell counts were significantly (P < 0.05) influenced by dietary treatments. In terms of serum chemistry, higher values of urea were recorded in sundried (6.57 mmol/l) and protein supplemented (6.57 mmol/l) groups, followed by the fermented group (6.17mmol/l). Calcium (2.24 mmol/l) and total protein (7.44g/dl) were highest in urea-treated CPHM group followed by the protein supplemented group (1.84 mmol/l and 7.37g/dl) and lowest in the sundried CPHM group (1.14 mmol/l and 6.21g/dl) respectively. The study concludes that blood composition of WAD bucks was best in the urea-treated and protein supplemented groups respectively, and 40% cocoa pod husk meal supplemented with 10% protein (African yambean) can be incorporated in the diets of WAD bucks without fear of compromising haematological and serum biochemical ndices.
Keywords: Cocoa pod husk, Urea, Fermented, Protein supplemented, WAD bucks