Nutrient intake and digestibility of West African dwarf lambs fed creep diets formulated from different nitrogen sources
A study was conducted to investigate the nutrient intake and digestibility of creep fed West African dwarf lambs maintained in a humid tropical environment. Nine lambs were completely randomized into three groups and each placed on different nutritional regimen from 6 to 16 weeks post-partum. Lambs in group 1 (control) ate forage sward suckled their dams (diet A). Groups 2 and 3 lambs, were in addition to suckling, given supplementary rations formulated to contain 10.0% Soya bean and groundnut cakes in concentrate mix, respectively. Feed intake and coefficients of digestibility for all nutrients evaluated were affected (P<0.05) by dietary treatment. Dry matter (12.66), crude protein (50.63), nitrogen free extract (44.20) and energy (37.56) digestibility were significantly lower (P<0.05) in T but similar (P>0.05) in groups 2 (76.12, 85.94, 94.72 and 82.01) and 3 (74.89, 84.87, 94.45 and 80.42) while ether extract and crude fiber differed (P<0.05) in treatment 1, 2 and 3. Creep supplemented groups generally recorded better nutrient intake and digestibility. This study showed that creep feeding leads to the production of well nourished lambs with animals in group 2 (fed creep containing10%Soya bean) showing better result in terms of parameters measured compared to those of group 3 (fed creep containing 10% groundnut cake). Thus, Soybean is a better nitrogen source for creep feeding lambs compared to groundnut cake.