Response of West African dwarf sheep to differently processed corncob meal based diets
A feeding trial was conducted to assess the response of West African Dwarf sheep to differently processed corncob meal based-diets. Sun-dried corncobs were collected at Teaching and Research farm of Federal University of Technology, Akure, treated with water, lye, urea, poultry litter and fermented for twenty-one (21) days. Five experimental diets were formulated and contained five differently treated corncob meals as follow: A (untreated corncob), B (water-treated corncob), C (lye-treated corncob), D (urea-treated corncob) and E (poultry litter-treated corncob). These processed corncob meals were incorporated as basal ingredients at 45% level. Thirty (30) WAD sheep (3 males and 3 females per treatment) were fed the five diets in a completely randomized design and the experiment lasted for sixty three (63) days. Dry matter intake, digestibility, nitrogen retention, weight gain and feed/gain ratio were significantly (P<0.05) influenced by the inclusion of differently processed corncob meal in the diets. The highest crude protein (CP) intake, CP digestibility, nitrogen retention and feed/gain ratio values were recorded for sheep fed ensiled poultry litter-treated corncobs (diet D) and significantly (P<0.05) differed from values recorded for sheep fed other diets. The haematological indices were not significantly (P>0.05) influenced by the treatment except haemoglobin concentration. The results revealed that the inclusion of water, lye, urea, and poultry litter treated corncob meal in the sheep diets could satisfy the dietary protein and energy requirements of the sheep.
Key words: Corncobs, ensiled, lye, performance, urea, poultry litter, sheep