Effect of graded levels of Parkia biglobosa in concentrate diets on growth performance, digestibility and nitrogen utilization of Yankasa rams
The study was carried out to evaluate the effect of dietary inclusion of Parkia biglobosa foliage (PBF) in complete rations on voluntary intake, growth performance, nutrient digestibility and nitrogen utilization of Yankasa rams. Sixteen Yankasa ram aged 7 – 10 months with average live weight of 18.00 ± 0.33 were randomly assigned to one of four experimental diets containing 0, 5%, 10 and 15% of PBF on dry matter (DM) basis. The feeding trial lasted for 91 days. The experiment was carried out as a completely randomized design with four treatments replicated four times with individually housed animals. Dry matter (DM) intake (kg/kg W 0.75/day), average daily gain, and digestibility of crude protein and ether extract (EE) were most superior (p<0.05) for 15% inclusion level of PBF relative to other treatments. Organic matter (OM) content of 10% PBF inclusion level was highest (p<0.05) compared to other diets. Ether extract and hemicellulose contents, digestibility of DM, OM and neutral detergent fibre, and N intake, absorbtion and retentionwere greatest (p<0.05) for the control diet (0%) compared to the PBF based diets. Digestibility of acid detergent fibre and acid detergent lignin, and N retention (N retained as % of N intake) were higher (P<0.05) in PBF diets than in control diet. Faecal N excretion was more (P<0.05) for animals on 0 and 5% PBF compared to those on 10 and 15% PBF. In conclusion, PBF can be included up to 15% in practical sheep rations.
Keywords: Apparent digestibility, intake, Parkia biglobosa, weight gain, Yankasa rams