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Nigeria Agricultural Journal

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Nutrient digestibility and nitrogen metabolism in West African dwarf sheep fed differently processed breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) meal

M.I. Okoruwa

Abstract


An experiment was conducted to determine nutrient digestibility and nitrogen metabolism in sheep fed differently processed breadfruit meal. Twenty West African dwarf sheep with mean weight body of 6.00 ± 0.55kg were randomly allotted to four dietary treatments with five sheep per treatment in a completely randomised design. Ficus foliage with breadfruit meals and concentrate diet were used as experimental diets: Diet A (50% unpeeled raw breadfruit meal + 20% ficus foliage + 30% concentrate), diet B (50% peeled raw breadfruit meal + 20% ficus foliage + 30% concentrate), diet C (50% unpeeled soaked breadfruit meal + 20% ficus foliage + 30% concentrate) and diet D (50% unpeeled boiled breadfruit meal + 20% ficus foliage + 30% concentrate). Metabolism trial was conducted at the end of 12 weeks feeding trial using sixteen sheep to assess the effect of diets on nutrient  digestibility and nitrogen metabolism. Results obtained showed that ash digestibility (56.72%), faecal nitrogen (7.63g/day) and urinary nitrogen (4.20g/day) were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in sheep on diet A than other treatment diets. Sheep on diet B were significantly (P < 0.05) better in terms of digestibility of crude protein (71.53%), crude fibre (75.46%) with ether extract (51.68%), nitrogen intake (20.01g/day), nitrogen balance (12.26g/day) and nitrogen absorbed (14.90g/day) than sheep on diets A, C and D. Nitrogen free extract digestibility (67.89%) and nitrogen retention (61.61%) were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in sheep fed on diet C . No significant (P > 0.05) difference exists in sheep with regards to dry matter digestibility. It was concluded  that the sheep fed 50% peeled raw breadfruit meal + 20% ficus foliage + 30% concentrate diet improved nitrogen digestibility  and nitrogen metabolism.


Keywords: Breadfruit, digestibility, nitrogen metabolism and sheep




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