Performance of pre-weaned West African Dwarf lambs fed rumen epithelial scrapings based diets
Rumen epithelial scrapings (RES) (a main waste from abattoir) is an urban environmental pollutant and can be sustainably harnessed for livestock feeding. This study was undertaken to evaluate the utilization of RES for
pre-weaned West African Dwarf (WAD) lambs. Concentrate supplements were formulated such that 0% (A), 50% (B) and 100% (C) of groundnut cake (GNC) were replaced with RES in a creep concentrate containing 20% GNC. At week-six after parturition,twelve pre-weaned lambs were allocated to three dietary treatments of four lambs per treatment. They were offered corresponding concentrate supplement equivalent to 3% of their body weight as well as basal Panicum maximum and water ad libitum until weaning at week-13. Intake of grass rose from 14.78, 14.57 and 13.8g in week-7 to 118, 132.8 and 120.95g in week-13 for lambs on treatments A, B and C respectively. Intake of concentrate increased similarly from 21.08, 23.3 and 23.01g in week-7 to 116.3, 171.2 and 179.48g in week-13 for lambs on treatments A, B and C respectively. Increasing levels of RES in the diets did not stimulate dry matter consumption significantly (p>0.05). Average daily live weight gain (LWG) (g/day) of 62.42, 64.04 and 63.88 for lambs fed diets A, B and C respectively was highest for lambs fed diet B. The FCR values (3.64, 3.15 and 2.89 for lambs on treatment A, B and C respectively) varied significantly (p<0.05). Correlation between total dry matter intake (TDMI) and total LWG of lamb was positive (r = 0.847) and highly significant (p<0.01). Regression of daily LWG (g/day) on TDMI confirmed the contributory roles of nutrients from suckling to lamb growth. The weaning weight for lambs on diets A, B and C (7.79, 8.59 and 8.39g respectively) were similar (p>0.05). Rumen epithelial scrapings based creep feed was acceptable to lambs and it supported their growth.
Keywords: Pre-weaned lambs, Rumen epithelial scrapings, West African dwarf sheep, Abattoir wastes, Creep feed.