Silage quality, Performance Characteristics and Blood Parameters of West African Dwarf (WAD) Goats Fed Vetiver Grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides L. Roberty) Ensiled With Cassava Peels
Four week old vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides L. Roberty) (VG) was harvested and ensiled with cassava peels (CPL) at different ratios viz: (A) 80VG:20%CPL, (B)
70VG:30%CPL, (C) 60VG:40CPL, (D) 50VG:50CPL, (E) 100VG:0CPL. The various mixtures of VG and CPL were ensiled for 42 days after which the silage characteristics were determined. The silage from the different mixing ratios of VG and CPL were fed for 105 days. Silages with cassava peels had acceptable colour of olive green, pleasant alcoholic odour, and pH range of 4.23-4.50. While 100%VG ensiled without CPL had undesirable characteristics such as pungent odour, brownish colour, mouldy growth and pH of 5.5.Treatments E (100% VG:0%CPL) was unfit for feeding due to its undesirable characteristics, therefore sixteen West African Dwarf (WAD) goats were randomly allotted to four dietary treatments in a completely randomised design. Weight gain, feed intake, digestibility and some blood parameters were determined. The feed intake (341.14 – 358.21g/DM) was not significant among the treatments while the weight gain (23.93 – 26.93g/d) and dry matter digestibility (63.91 – 66.81%) were significant across the treatments. Packed cell volume (31.0 – 33.0%), heamoglobin (10.3 – 12.7), total protein (8.40 – 9.04g/dl) and blood urea (12.08 – 12.32mg/dl) was significantly different among the treatments. It was concluded that feed intake, digestibility and body weight gain increased as level of cassava peels increased in the silage.
Keywords: Vetiver grass, Cassava peels, silage properties, intake and digestibility