SAHEED ADENIJI, UDOH INYANG, OLANIYI JACOB BABAYEMI
University of Ibadan, Animal Science, Nigeria
One of the major problems of feeding ruminants worldwide is the seasonal variation in the availability and nutritional value of native pasture. Conserved Cassava waste and Albizia saman pods have great potentials to bridge the gap in forage supply during this period.
The study was conducted to determine the effect of ensiling on feed intake and digestibility by WAD sheep. The nutritive value of cassava wastes (CSW) and Albizia saman pod (ASP) silage as indicated by chemical constituents were also determined. Yearling ewes with an average live weight of 17.10kg were randomly assigned to five treatments with three (3) replicates each comprising: 100% CSW, 75% CSW + 25% ASP, 50% CSW + 50% ASP, 25% CSW + 75% ASP, 100% ASP. The result of the feeding trial showed that there were significant difference (p < 0.05) in feed DM intake (284.25 - 469.14gday-1), weight gain (-0.62 - 4.80gd-1), apparent digestibility of crude protein (CP) (35.48 - 75.21%), nitrogen balance (-1.04 - 16.71gd-1) and nitrogen retention (-11.59 - 71.01gd-1). Ewes fed with 25% CSW + 75% ASP had highest feed intake and the least for those on sole CSW. Weight gain of ewes fed 25% CSW+75%ASP silage increased significantly while those fed 100% CSW lost weight and 100% ASP maintained theirs. Nitrogen balance was apparently highest in ewes consuming 100% ASP and the least for 100% CSW. The nitrogen retention of the ewes on 100% ASP diet was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that for 100% CSW diet.
It can thus be concluded that ensiling cassava wastes or Albizia saman pod solely as a dry season feed for sheep may be unsuitable, but when in combination will give a good feed resource
Keywords: Albizia saman pod, cassava wastes, ewes, intake, weight gain, yearling