Effect of diets with different protein-energy density on the gastrointestinal nematode status of semi- intensively managed West African dwarf sheep
This study was conducted to determine the effect of different protein and energy density diets on the gastrointestinal parasite status of semi-intensively raised West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep. The different densities used were low energy-low protein (LELP); low energy-high protein (LEHP); high energy-low protein (HELP) and high energy-high protein (HEHP). Twenty four WAD sheep with an average weight of 11.5±0.41 kg, aged between 5 and 6 months were used. These were divided into four groups of six animals per group in a completely randomized design. Groups were each fed one of the diets, respectively, as supplement and released into a paddock grown with Stylosanthes hamata and Pennisetum pedicellatum, to graze for 12 weeks at 5 hours per day. The faecal egg count (FEC) ranged from 375 to 3483 eggs per gram (epg). The strongyle eggs had the highest (P<0.05) number whereas moniezia eggs were the least. The effect of the different protein-energy densities on the final FEC and the differences between the final and initial FEC were significant (P<0.05). The FEC obtained in animals fed LELP and LEHP showed 56.30 and 13.30 percentage reduction (P<0.05) in epg, respectively, whereas animals fed HELP showed percentage increase (P<0.05) of 104.30 epg. The highest trend (P<0.05) of infestation was obtained in those fed LELP while the least trend was obtained in those fed HEHP. It could therefore be concluded that diets high in protein and energy levels reduced the gastrointestinal nematodes of WAD sheep compared to other nutrient combinations.
Keywords: Gastrointestinal nematode, Nutrient density, WAD sheep
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