• Abubakar S.A.,
  • Muhammad, I.R.
  • Sani, S. S.
  • Amodu, J. T.
  • Muhammad, R. H
  • Akpensuen, T.T.


A study was conducted toevaluate theeffect of stage of maturity at harvest of Maiwa millet
(Pennisetum glaucum) and three legumespecies for ensilage and to determine optimum level
of legume inclusion for better millet-basedsilage. The Maiwa millet and legumes (Lablab
purpureus, Mucuna pruriens and Centrosema pascuorum) were harvested at 60, 70, 80 and
90days post planting and chopped to 1cm length separately. The chopped Maiwa millet
forage was mixed with each of the legumes at 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60% and ensiled for
21 days. Results of physical characteristics of silage made from harvested forage at 70 and 80
days post planting produced better silagewith yellowish green colour and very sweet aroma.
At 60 days post-planting, silage made was putrid. Silages made from the inclusion of 30 to 40
percent legumes were yellowish green in colour and had very sweet aroma. Combinations of
millet-lablab and millet-centro resulted in better silages compared to combinations with
millet-mucuna. The silages prepared were moderate to fair with pH ranging from 4.4 to 5.1.
Age of ensiled material had significant effect on the quality of silage (P<0.0001). The
proximate composition of silages showed significant variations (P<0.0001) with millet-centro
mixtures having the highest values in crude protein, crude fibre and ether extract. Dry matter
content was also significantly different (P<0.0001) with silage made from sole millet having
the lowest value (94.21%). Stage of maturity influenced the dry matter content of the silages
produced, higher values were obtained at 80 and 90days post planting. Highest CP content
was recorded at 70days post planting (11.7%) and least at 90 days post planting (9.71%).
Highest crude fibres were obtained at 70 and 80 days post planting. Ca, Mg and Zinc nutrient
level were significantly different (P<0.05) at stage of growth of the forage materials used for
compounding the silages only. P differed significantly (P = 0.023) at different stages of
growth and also between compounded silages (P = 0.001). The study showed that silage
compounded at 70 and 80 days post planting, 30 to 40% level of inclusion of Lablab or Centro produced better silages.