Effects of inclusion levels of ficus (Ficus sycomorus) leaf meal in urea treated maize cob based complete diets on the performance of Yankasa goats
An inclusion level of Ficus sycomorus leaf meal (FSLM) at 0 %(T1), 25%(T2), 50%(T3) and 75%(T4) in Urea treated maize cob based complete diet was evaluated. Four Red Sokoto goats averaging 15 ± 1.5kg live body weight were used to measure feed intake, digestibility and nitrogen balance. Urea treatment of maize cob resulted in two fold increase in crude protein. Feed intake was significantly (p<0.05) affected by inclusion level of Ficus sycomorus. Although the intake of dry matter (DM) and organic matter (OM) were significantly (p<0.05) higher in T2 and decreased with increase in the level of inclusion of Ficus sycomorus leaf meal. Significant (P<0.05) intake of crude protein (CP) was observed in T3. DM digestibility was significantly (p<0.05) higher with supplementation. T2 had higher DM digestibility (46.52), followed by T1 and T3 which were statistically lower and similar (43.39 and 41.36, respectively).The least DM digestibility was observed in T4 (37.69). Inclusion of FSLM significantly (p<0.05) decreased Nitrogen retention with increase in the level of inclusion observed in this order (14.34, 11.59 and 8.45g/day) for T2, T3 and T4, respectively. T1, T2 and T3 had significantly (p<0.05) higher and similar absorbed N, while T4 had a lower absorbed N. Ficus sycomorus can be included up to 50% in a urea treated maize cob based complete diets for feeding goats, without any adverse effects.
Key words: complete diet, ficus, maize cob, urea treatment