Performance of growing Yankasa rams Fed graded levels of Tamarindus indica leaves
A feeding trial which lasted eight (8) weeks was carried out to determine the intake and nutrient digestibility by growing Yankasa rams fed graded levels of Tamarindus indica leaves. Twelve Yankasa rams with average liveweight of 17.40kg were randomly allocated to three treatments of four replicates in a Randomized Complete Block Design. The experimental diets formulated were A (0%), B (15%) and C (30%) inclusion levels of the test ingredient. The results revealed that animals fed 0% inclusion level (Control diet) had higher DMI, EEI and CFI, which varied significantly (P<0.05) between the treatments. The animals fed 30% inclusion level of T, indica had significantly (PO.05) higher Crude Protein i!05.88gday) and Nitrogen Free Extract Intake (319.14g/day) compared to other treatments. All the digestibility indices except ash digestibility varied significantly (P<0.05) across the treatments. The crude fibre digestibility, ether extract digestibility and dry matter digestibilities were significantly higher (PO.05) in the animals fed 0% inclusion level compared to other treatments. However, crude protein digestibility and nitrogen free extract digestibilities were significantly (P<0.05) higher in. treatment with 30% inclusion of T. indica leaves compared to other treatment means. It is concluded that T. indica improves protein content of feed. It is therefore recommended that feeding trials be conducted using T. indica leaves to ascertain the nutritive value and its suitability as feedstuff for small ruminants particularly during feed scarcity for improved performance and productivity.
Key words: Tamarindus indica, Yankasa, Intake, Digestibility