diets containing gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium) and neem (Azadirachta indica) leaves supplement
This study investigated the effect of Gliricidia sepium with neem leaves supplementation on nutrient retentions for body weight gain in ewe-lambs. Twelve West African dwarf ewe-lambs with an average weight of 7.00 ± 0.32kg were randomly allotted to three dietary tratments with four ewe-lambs per treatment in a completely randomized design. The compared treatment diets were; diet I (I (50% guinea grass + 20% Gliricidia sepium + 30% concentrate), II (45% guinea grass + 25% G1iricidia sepium + 30% concentrate) and III (40% guinea grass + 30% Gliricidia sepium + 30% concentrate). Diets II and III received 3 and 6 grams of neem leaves meal per animal per day respectively as additional supplement. A metabolism trial was conducted at the end of the feeding trial to assess the diets on energy and nitrogen retentions after the growth study of the ewe-lambs. Results obtained showed that gross energy (3981.14MJ/kg DM/day), faecal energy and nitrogen output (1101.78 MJ/kg DM/day and 4.33g/day), daily feed intake (273.43g/day) and feed conversion ratio (7.32) were significantly (P < 0.05) highest in ewelambs fed diet I. Ewe-lambs on diet III were significantly (P < 0.05) highest in terms of digestible and metabolizable energy intakes (1306.37 and 1071.20 MJ/kg DM/day), nitrogen intake (20.93g/day), nitrogen balance and retention (17.33g/day and 81.47%), final body weight (11.08kg), total and daily weight gains (4.10kg and 48.81g) than those on diets I and II. No significant (P > 0.05) effect was recorded among the treatment diets with regards to urinary energy output, metabolizability, urinary nitrogen output and initial body weight. It was concluded that ewe-lambs fed 40% guinea grass + 30% Gliricidia sepium + 30% concentrate with 6g neem leaves had better nutrient retentions for body weight gain in ewe-lambs.
Keywords: Gliricidia sepium, neem leaves, nutrient retentions, growth, ewe-lambs.