Effects of Supplementation with Cajanus Cajan, Lablab Purpureus or Their Mixture on Feed Utilization, Growth and Carcass Characteristics of Horro Sheep Fed A Basal Diet of Natural Grass Hay

Mekonnen Diribsa


The experiment was conducted at Bako Agricultural Research Center during 2013/14 using thirty intact male yearling Horro sheep to evaluate the effect of supplementing a basal diet of natural grass hay with Cajanus cajan (CC), Lablab purpureus (LP) and the mixture of CC and LP on feed utilization and growth performances of growing Horro lambs. The experimental animals were grouped into six blocks, and each animal was randomly assigned to one of the five dietary treatment feeds (i.e. six animals per treatment). The treatments were:  feeding of Cynodon dactylon (CD) hay as control (T1), and supplementation of basal diet with mixture of CC and LP at 100:0, 40:60, 60:40 and 0:100%, respectively. Accordingly, 236, 294, 274 and 333gm of the supplement foliages were offered to T2, T3, T4 and T5 animals, respectively on dry matter (DM) bases. Furthermore, 125gm wheat bran (WB) was offered across the treatments mainly to reduce weight lose in the control group. The experimental animals were adapted to their respective experimental feeds for 14 days. The feeding trial was conducted for 90 days followed by a 7 days of digestibility trial. Feed offered and refused and feces voided were recorded throughout the respective study period; while body weight change and body condition score were recorded at 10 days interval. The CP contents of CC, LP, WB and CD hay were 26.41, 18.67, 17.46 and 11.72%, respectively. Organic matter ranged from 88.84 (CD hay) to 95.11% (WB). The mean intake of basal DM in T1 (615±23.47g/d) was greater (P<0.01) than in T2, T3, T4 and T5 by 150, 112.5, 104.7 and 93.7g/day in that order. The supplemented animals had higher (P<0.001) total DM intake (909.8-979.3g/d (SEM±23.47) than the control (740±23.47g/d). Higher (P<0.001) total CP intake of 138.5, 142.9, 143.8 and 145.1g/d (SEM±2.75) for T2, T3, T4 and T5, respectively were recorded than T1 (93.9±2.75g/d). Supplementation significantly improved digestibility of DM and OM (P<0.05) and of CP (P<0.01). NDF digestibility was higher (P<0.05) in T3 (58±2.07) and T5 (58.4±2.07), while the lowest was recorded in T2 (49±2.07). Supplementation improved (P<0.001) final body weight (FBW), body condition score (BCS), average daily gain (ADG). Therefore, it can be concluded that, supplementation with forage legumes can enhance the utilization of poor quality roughages under smallholder mixed farming systems for better growth of Horro sheep. Better utilization of nutrients and animal performance were observed in rams supplemented with 333gm LP, followed by 94gm and 200 gm CC and LP mixture, thus this feeding system can be recommended for small scale sheep production.

Keywords: Cynodon dactylon, digestibility, Horro lambs, Multi-purpose tree foliage

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