GROWTH PERFORMANCE OF YANKASA RAMS FED GROUNDNUT HAULMS AND MAIZE STOVER IN A TOTAL MIXED RATION IN NORTHERN GUINEA SAVANNAH
Keywords:Cost-benefit, digestibility, double-red maize, samnut-22, nitrogen balance
An experiment was conducted to investigate the Performance of Yankasa rams fed Samnut-22 haulms and Double-red maize stover in a total mixed ration in Northern Guinea Savannah at the Department of Animal Science Teaching and Research Farm, Samaru, Zaria. Twelve (12) Yankasa rams with average weight of 24±0.5 kg were allotted to three (3) dietary treatments containing maize stover (MS) (15 %), groundnut haulms (GH) (15 %) and MS (7.5 %) GH (7.5 %) inclusion. The rams were individually fed at 3.5 % body weight daily for a period of twelve (12) weeks in a Complete Randomized Design (CRD) with four replicates. The results of the animal trials showed that the performance of rams fed GH (15 %) inclusion had the highest (P<0.05) final body weight (31.75 kg), average weight gain (6.75 kg/ram) (80 g/ram/day) and feed conversion ratio (12.21) compared to 29.45 kg final body weight, 4.95 kg/ram and 58.93 g/ram/day average daily gain and 20.17 feed conversion ratio in rams fed MS (7.5 %) GH (7.5 %) inclusion. The Digestibility coefficients of crude protein (75.31 %), crude fibre (84.78 %) and ether extract (96.39 %) were significantly (P<0.05) higher in Yankasa rams fed GH y(15 %) inclusion compared to that of rams fed MS(15 %) inclusion with 68.51 % crude protein, 76.68 % crude fibre and 94.45 % ether extract digestibility coefficients. The Nitrogen retained (16.97) and N retained as % intake (67.86 %) were significantly higher in rams fed GH (15 %) inclusion compared to rams fed MS (15 %) inclusion with 9.75 and 45.67 % nitrogen retained and N retained as % intake, respectively. The cost per kg of feed (? 70.15 k) and net benefit (? 19,550.9.00k) were significantly (P<0.05) higher for GH (15 %) inclusion compared to ? 67.97 k cost per kg of feed and ? 17,126.00k net benefit in MS (15 %) and MS (7.5 %) GH (7.5 %) inclusion, respectively. It was concluded that feeding of Yankasa rams with 15 % groundnut haulms inclusion in a total mixed ration improved growth performance and economic return of Yankasa rams in Northern Guinea Savannah of Nigeria.