Evaluating the Performance of Yankasa Rams Fed Acacia Sayel Del (Chenchilo) Leaf Meal as a replacement for Cotton Seed Cake
A study was conducted to evaluate the nutritive value of Acacia sayel Del. (Chenchilo) pods as replacement for Cotton Seed Cake (CSC) in diets of Yankasa rams. Twenty Yankasa rams of average weight 15.4 ± 0.15 kg were used in a feeding trial which lasted 120 days. The rams were randomly allotted to five treatment groups: 0, 25, 50, 75 and 100 % inclusion levels of A. sayel pods in a complete randomized design experiment. The rams were fed concentrate at the rate of 2.5% body weight/head/dat. A basal diet of maize stover was offered ad libitum. Rumen fluid and blood samples were collected at the beginning, middle and end of the feeding experiments to determine rumen and hematological parameters. A digestibility trial was conducted at the end of the feeding trial. The results of the study show that A. sayel pods inclusion levels had significant (P≤ 0.05) effect on all the performance characteristics except feed intake. The best results were obtained at 75% level of inclusion (feed conversion ratio of 1.35, weight gain 622.5g and final body weight (21.625kg). Inclusion levels of A. sayel pods had significant (P≤0.05) effect on nutrient digestibility, but had no significant (P≥0.05) effect on nitrogen balance. The inclusion of A. Sayel had no significant effect (P≥ 0.05) on Packed Cell Volume (PCV), heamoglobin, rumen ammonia nitrogen and rumen pH. From the result of this study it was concluded that A. sayel pods can be included in the diet of Yankasa rams up to 75% to replace Cotton Seed Cake. This inclusion level resulted in improved performance in rams in terms of feed efficiency, nutrient digestibility and nitrogen retention.
Keywords: Acacia sayel, Yankasa sheep, Nutrient utilization
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