NUTRIENT UTILIZATION AND RUMEN MICROBIAL POPULATION OF WEST AFRICAN DWARF SHEEP FED PANICUM MAXIMUM SUPPLEMENTED WITH TITHONIA DIVERSIFOLIA, MERREMIA AEGYPTIA AND CHROMOLAENA ODORATA.

Authors

  • ISAH O.A.
  • TAIWO O.O.
  • AJAYI O.K.
  • ADEBOWALE
  • OMONIYI

Keywords:

Rumen microbial population, Sheep, Browse plant supplement.

Abstract

Voluntary feed intake and digestibility of trees and shrubs (browse plants) by ruminant may be
limited due to direct or indirect effects of their secondary compounds on rumen microbial
activities. This study was carried out to investigate nutrient content of selected browse plants
(Tithonia diversifolia, Merremia aegyptia and Chromolaena odorata) and their effect as feed
supplement on nutrient utilization and rumen microbial population of West African dwarf
(WAd) Sheep. Twenty-four (24) WAd sheep weighing 15±1kg were divided in a Completely
Randomized Design into four groups (6 sheep per group) and were fed basal diet of P.
maximum supplemented with the selected browse plants, along with fixed quantity of
concentrate diet for a period of 84 days. The last group had no browse plant supplementation.
Fourteen (14) days were used for digestibility studies. Apparent Nitrogen absorbed was
calculated. Results showed that M. aegyptia (21.97%) had highest (P<0.05) crude protein (CP)
content while P. maximum (9.00%) had least value. T. diversifolia (34.53%) contained highest
(P<0.05) value of Acid detergent lignin (ADL) among all the browse plants investigated while
M. aegyptia (11.29%) had low (P<0.05) value. However, P. maximum (9.51%) had the lowest
ADL content. Animals that consumed M. aegyptiaas supplement had highest (P<0.05) intake of
DM and CP. Low (P<0.05) quantity (DM: 91.09 g/day and CP: 76.70 g/day) of C. odorata was
consumed by animals as supplement, despite this, the total CP intake of the animals offered this
browse supplements were better (P<0.05) than those given grass alone. T. diversifolia
consumption enhanced microbial proliferation as revealed by the increase in the rumen
microbial population 4 hours post feeding. There is a reduction in the rumen microbial
population of animals fed C. odorata supplement. This observation revealed that C. odorata
leaves do not support microbial proliferation in the rumen. The result of this study therefore
revealed that all browse plants investigated could be used as supplement to grass and other low quality feedstuffs especially during the dry season.

Published

2015-12-30