Growth Performance of Yankasa rams fed varying Proportions of Gmelina aborea Leaves
Twenty Yankasa rams weighing average 15.50kg +2 were used to study the effect of replacing Maize stover (MS) with wilted Gmelina aborea leaves (GAL) at 0, 15, 30, 45 and 60% on dry matter intake, growth performance of rams, digestibility and utilisation of nitrogen. The rams were randomly assigned into five groups with four rams per group. The experimental diets consist of Maize Stover as a basal diet which were replaced with wilted Gmelina aborea leaves (GAL) at 0, 15, 30, 45 and 60%. The basal diet was fed at the rate of 2% body weight per head daily. The animals were offered supplement at the rate of 1% of body weight per head daily. The trial lasted for 90 days. Metabolism study was subsequently conducted using 18 animals from those used for the feeding trial. .The proximate composition showed that the GAL had 93.71, 5.39, 13.60, 17.15, 23.00, 65.14, 32.30 and 34.48% of dry matter (DM), ash, ether extract (EE), crude fibre (CF),crude protein (CP), eutral Detergent fibre (DF), Acid detergent Fibre (ADF) and itrogen Free extract (FE) respectively. The result of feeding trial indicated that animals fed the 45% GL consumed more (P<0.05) Dry matter than the animal fed 0, 15 30 and 60% GL the LWG of the rams range from -20.48-6.95g/d .The result depicted the apparent digestibility of dry matter was high (p<0.05) for animals fed sole GL and had the best digestibility of all nutrients except CP. It can be concluded from the two trials that Gmelina aborea leaves can be included in the diets of Yankasa sheep up to 60% without adverse effect on intake, digestibility of nutrients and growth.
Keywords: Gmelina aborea leaves, Maize Stover Yankasa sheep
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