Influence of urea-fortified corncob diets on growth performance and carcass characteristics in West African dwarf goats
The experiment was carried out to determine the effect of urea-fortified concentrate corncob diets on growth performance and carcass characteristics of West African dwarf (WAD) goats. Fifteen WAD goats with an average weight of 9.33 kg were studied. The animals were weighted and randomly assigned to five (5) treatments in a completely randomized design (CRD). The treatments were of different levels i.e. 0%, 1%, 2%, 3% and 4% of urea in corncob-based concentrate diets. Results showed variation (P<0.05) in the live weight among all the treatments while no effect was observed in average daily weight gain, average daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio, carcass and non-carcass characteristics among the treatment groups. However, the physicochemical properties of the meat showed that meat water holding capacity, moisture, dry matter, crude fibre and ash were not influenced by urea but there was a significant (P<0.05) difference in meat pH and meat crude protein among the treated groups. In conclusion, for better performance in the live weight gain of WAD goats, 3% best level inclusion of urea fortified corncob diet should be taken into cognizance.
Keywords: Carcass characteristics; Corncob; Urea; West African Dwarf Goats; Nigeria.