Performance and Haematological Parameters of Yankasa Sheep Fed Ficus sycomorus as Substitute to Groundnut Cake
The effect of replacing groundnut cake (GNC) with Ficus sycomorus foliage on the performance of Yankasa rams was studied. Sixteen (16) Yankasa rams with an average weight of 14.25 ±0.2kg were divided into four groups with four animals per group. Each group was randomly assigned to the four dietary treatments in a completely randomized design (CRD). The diets compared were 0% (Control), 5%, 10%, and 15% Ficus sycomorus levels of inclusion designated as T1, T2, T3, and T4 respectively. Result shows significant (P<0.05) differences in all the parameters studied for chemical composition of the experimental diets. The control had the highest values for dry matter (DM), cellulose, acid detergent fibre (ADF) and neutral detergent fibre (NDF) each. The body weight gain, dry matter intake (DMI) and metabolic weight were higher for the 10% inclusion than other treatment groups. The nutrients digestibility were significantly (P<0.05) affected by the substitution level. Dry matter (DM) and the fibre fraction digestibility were generally low. Nitrogen intake and Nitrogen retained as % Nitrogen intake were not significantly (p>0.05) affected by the substitution level. The results showed no significant (p>0.05) effect on the haematological parameters except for the white blood cell differentials (Lymphocytes, Neutrophils and Monocytes) which showed significant differences (p<0.05) among treatment groups. Serum metabolites results were significantly (p>0.05) not affected by the substitution level, except for urea, protein, globulin and alkaline phosphatase; which showed significant (p<0.05) difference among treatments. Results therefore, show that F. sycomorus can be used to substitute groundnut cake; though decrease in fibre digestibility should be taken into consideration, and the best level of substitution was 10% for F. sycomorus.
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