Rumen characteristics and blood parameters of West African dwarf goats fed vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizanoides. L. Roberty) ensiled with cassava peels at different ratio
Vetiver is a perennial grass of tropical origin, commonly used as edge row plants for the control of erosion. Being leafy and with a high tillering ability, it has not been properly integrated as forage for ruminants. Thus, an experiment was carried out to determine the effect of ensiling a four week re-growth of vetiver grass with cassava peels on rumen and blood metabolites of West African dwarf goats. Sixteen goats were used for the study. A completely randomized design was used with four animals per treatment. Vetiver grass was ensiled with cassava peels at ratio (A) 80:20, (B) 70:30, (C) 60:40 and (D) 50:50 were provided ad-libtum at 5% body weight. Rumen and blood samples were collected at the end of the experiment which lasted for 90 days. Results of the study showed rumen ammonia nitrogen (NH -N) concentration of 7.25-7.93mg/100mL, and pH of 6.75-6.81. Variations among the 3 treatments were within the acceptable range for rumen microbial activity. There was a uniformly low plasma urea (4.36-5.16mm/l). Glucose (85.36-89.04g/dL), total protein (6.42- 7.50g/dL), cholesterol (60.95-66.19g/dL), haemoglobin (10.9-12.7g/100ml), packed cell volume (30.0-31.0%) and white blood cell (10.25-10.67×103/ul) were within the range reported for healthy goats. Ensiled vetiver grass with cassava peels had no detrimental effects on the rumen and blood parameters of the experimental animals.
Keywords: Vetiver grass, cassava peels, silage, WAD goats, rumen fluid and blood metabolites