Nigerian Journal of Animal Production

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Morphological Identification of Rumen Microbial Isolate and Rumen Metabolites of West African dwarf sheep supplemented with forage-based Multi-nutrient Blocks

OA Isah, AV Ijiyemi, OA Ajayi, BE Afoabi, JOK Talabi, OA Omolabi, RM Akinbode


This study investigated the rumen fermentation parameters and rumen microbial identification of West African dwarf (WAD) sheep supplemented with forage – based multinutrient blocks (MNB). Twenty-five male WAD sheep, 9 – 12 months of age were used. The animals were randomly assigned to five formulated experimental multi-nutrient blocks having five animals per treatment and were fed with Panicum maximum ad libitum as basal diet for 84 days. The multi-nutrient blocks were Ipomoea triloba-based multi- nutrient block (IMNB), Merremia aegyptia-based multi-nutrient block (MMNB), Tithonia diversifolia based multi-nutrient block (TMNB), Chromolaena-odorata based multi-nutrient block (CMNB) and Azadirachta indica-based multi-nutrient block (AMNB). The chemical composition, nutrient intake and concentration of rumen metabolites were statistically compared. Also, rumen microbes were isolated and identified. Results revealed that CMNB had highest (P < 0.05) dry matter and crude protein contents (87.48 and 22.75% respectively) and sheep fed this block recorded highest dry matter and crude protein intakes (756.08 and 85.26 g/day respectively). Total volatile fatty acid, acetate, propionate and ammonia nitrogen concentrations as well as total viable bacteria count were higher (P < 0.05) in sheep fed AMNB. Ruminococcus spp and Lactobacillus spp were among the group of bacteria isolated from the rumen of sheep fed forage based multi-nutrient blocks. It was concluded that feeding of forage based multi-nutrient blocks especially CMNB and AMNB to ruminant could improve rumen microbial count and fermentation products which can also improve the efficiency of the animals towards better performance.

Keywords: Urea-molasses blocks, ruminant microbiota, fermentation indices

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