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