Growth performance, blood profile and serum metabolites of West African dwarf growing rams fed guinea grass supplemented with differently processed pigeon pea leaves
A 56-day trial was conducted to investigate the performance and blood profile of West African Dwarf growing rams fed Panicum maximum with differently processed Pigeon pea leaves, twigs, and petioles (PPL). A total of sixteen (16) rams were randomly allotted to four treatments (T1 - 100% P. maximum solely), T2 - 70% P. maximum and 30% fresh PPL), T3 - 70% P. maximum and 30% wilted PPL and T4 - 70% P. maximum and 30% dried PPL) with four animals per treatment in a completely randomized design (CRD). Growth performance and blood analysis parameters such as initial and final weight, feed intake and leftover, packed cell volume, hemoglobin, total protein, albumin, glucose were evaluated. There were significant variation (P<0.05) in all the evaluated parameters. Fresh PPL recorded the highest crude protein (CP) (22.31%), followed by wilted (21.20 %), and the least (5.30 %) was obtained in P. maximum. The phytate contents of fresh, wilted and dried PPL were 1.29%, 1.28% and 1.26% respectively while tannin contents were 1.00, 0.85 and 0.79mg/100gm in fresh, wilted and dried PPL respectively. The feed intake (5.22kg) of each ram fed the T1 diet was higher (P<0.05) than those of T2 (3.50kg), T3 (5.05kg) and T4 (4.61kg). Average, daily and weekly weight gains varied (P<0.05) in the diets in T3>T4 >T2>T1 order, while feed conversion ratio ranged between 3.48 (T3) to 7.35 (T1). The packed cell volume (PCV) and haemoglobin (Hb) ranged from 36.00% in T4 to 38.00% in T1 and 12.50g/dl in T4 to 12.40g/dl in T1 respectively. T3 diet was observed to have the highest total protein (7.00 g/dl), albumin (3.30 g/dl) and globulin (4.40 g/dl) values. From the results of a significant number of evaluated parameters, T3 proved to be the best diet of this study. However, it was concluded that the supplementation of P. maximum with either fresh, wilted or dried PPL would increase the productivity of growing rams.
Keywords: WAD rams; Cajanus cajan; Panicum maximum; haematology; serum metabolites
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