Performance and digestibility by Uda rams fed concentrate diets containing graded levels of camel's foot pod meal (CFPM)
The study was conducted to investigate the performance of Uda rams fed concentrate diets containing graded levels of Camel's foot pod meal (CFPM). Sixteen (16) entire male Uda rams with an average initial weight of 30+0.0kg were allotted into four (4) dietary treatments in a Complete Randomized Design. Four (4) experimental concentrate diets were compounded with CFPM replacing soya bean meal at 0, 20, 40 and 60% levels of inclusion representing diets 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. The concentrate diets were offered to the animals at 1.50% of their body weight and concentrate feeding was adjusted on weekly body weight basis while rice straws were served ad libitum as basal diet. At the end of the 12 weeks feeding trial, a digestibility trial was conducted which lasted 21 days using three animals from each treatment. Parameters measured were dry matter intake, live weight changes, feed to gain ratio and nutrients digestibility. Results showed that the organic matter content of the diet containing 40% CFPM was highest compared to other diets. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in dry matter intake and live weight changes among the treatments. The dry matter intake was higher in treatment 2 (993.02g) than in treatment 1 (932.32g) likewise the live weight changes was higher in treatment 4 (36.25kg) than treatment 1 (34.00kg). The feed to gain ratio ranged from 17.62 in treatment 4 to 25.42 in treatment 2. Nutrients digestibility increased with increasing level of CFPM in the diets. The DM, CP and ash digestibility were higher (p>0.05) in treatment 4 compared to the control treatment while the ADL was also higher (p<0.05) in treatment 4 than the control treatment. The optimum weight gain (36.25kg) and efficient utilization (17.92) was achieved at 60% inclusion level of CFMP. Therefore, Piliostigma reticulatum pods can serve as a potential fodder feed resource for ruminant fattening programme.
Keywords: Performance, Uda rams, Camel's foot pods, concentrate diets