INTAKE AND NUTRIENT DIGESTIBILITY IN SHEEP FED SOME SEMI-ARID BROWSE PLANTS

Authors

  • Ibrahim, H. National Animal Production Research Institute, P. M. B. 1096
  • Abbator, F. I. Department of Animal Science, University of Maiduguri, P. M. B. 1069, Borno State, Nigeria
  • Ahmed, S. A. National Animal Production Research Institute, P. M. B. 1096
  • Ishiaku, Y. M. National Animal Production Research Institute, P. M. B. 1096
  • Bala, A. G. Collect of agriculture and animal science, Ahmadu Bello University, Mando Kaduna state, Nigeria
  • Bello, S.S Department of Animal Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.

Keywords:

Nutrition, Browse plants, Sheep

Abstract

The study was conducted to determine the intake and nutrient digestibility in sheep fed dried
leaves of four browse plants. Four sheep of mixed breed (Uda and Yankasa) weighing an average
of 28.4kg each were used for the study. The treatments were Ziziphus mauritania (A), Balanites
aegyotica (B), Ficus sycomorus (C), and Celtis integrifolia (D). The animals were weighed and
randomly allotted to four treatments in a 4x4 Latin square design with four periods. Each period
lasted for three weeks. The dry matter and crude protein content of the treatments range from
92.2% to 95.6% and 12.78% to 17.33%, respectively. The crude fibre content ranged from
25.0% to 30.5% while the ether extract content ranged from 2.0% to 3.0%. Nutrient digestibility
ranged from 58.13% to 65.17%, 72.37% to 94.18% and 52.71% to 64.90% for dry matter, crude
protein and crude fibre, respectively. Dry matter intake was significantly higher (P<0.05) in
treatment D than that of treatments A and C. There was no significant different in crude fiber
digestibility of treatments A and B. The results from this study indicated that browse plants used
have high nutritional value and therefore could serve as supplementary feed especially during the
dry season in the semi-arid zone where dry grass and crops residues are the only available feed
resources.

Published

2016-12-30