Performance And Nutrient Utilization By Sheep Fed Ficus Leaves

  • OS Lamidi
  • OA Osinowo
  • AM Adamu
  • RA Afolayan
Keywords: Ficus, Leaves, Performance, Nutrient utilization, Sheep


Growth and metabolic studies were conducted with 32 sheep (16 rams and 16 ewes) to evaluate Ficus leaves (Ficus thonningia) as substitute for Hyparrbenia rura (Hyparrhenia) in the diets ·'>f sheep. Ficus replaced O, 25, 50 and 75% of grass and was offered at 3% of animal body weight as DM. All the sheep received concentrate at 1 % of body weight as supplement. Digestibilities of DM, NDF, ADF and N were similar (P> 0.05) for sheep on diets containing 0, 25 and 50% Ficus except at 75% which was (P< 0.05) lower. Nitrogen retention was positive and the values increased with dietary level of Ficus up to 50% and then declined. Differences were not however, significant. Intake of ficus was significantly (P < 0.001) and positively related to both total feed intake (r::::0.99) and daily liveweight gains (r=0.55). Average daily liveweight gains (LWG) was 28.75, 33.75, 47.5O and 36.25 gf day for Sheep on 25, 50 and 75%
dietary level of ficus. Feed efficiency was 11.35, 21.67, 31.84 and 27.89 (g feed DM/g LWG) for sheep on dietary levels of ficus. The results showed that sheep on diet containing 50% Ficus gained 47.5Og/day which represented an increase of about 65.22% higher than value obtained for those on the control diet (0% Ficus) but at lower feed
conversion efficiency.

Keywords: Ficus, Leaves, Performance, Nutrient utilization, Sheep


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0331-2062