GROWTH PERFORMANCE OF RED SOKOTO BUCKS FED WOOLY FINGER GRASS (Digitaria smutsii) HAY-BASED DIET WITH VARYING LEVELS OF SUN-DRIED BROILERLITTER

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GROWTH PERFORMANCE OF RED SOKOTO BUCKS FED WOOLY FINGER GRASS (Digitaria smutsii) HAY-BASED DIET WITH VARYING LEVELS OF SUN-DRIED BROILERLITTER

Abstract:

This study was conducted to evaluate growth performance of Red Sokoto bucks fed Digitaria smutsii hay-based diet with varying levels of sun-dried broiler litter (SBL). A total of 20 Red Sokoto bucks aged 12-14 months and weighing on average 11.5±0.5kg were randomly assigned to four dietary treatments with 5 replicates each in a complete randomized design. The diets contained 0%, 10%, 20%, and 30% SBL levels, each representing a treatment. The animals were fed at 4% body weight throughout the period of 90 days. Total feed intake, weight gain, faecal and urine output, rumen pH, total volatile fatty acid (TVFA), rumen ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) as well as serum metabolites were recorded. Results obtained showed significant (P<0.05) decrease in Dry matter intake (394.68–325.44g/day) and weight gain (54.17 – 29.63g/day) on diets with SBL inclusion. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) significantly (P<0.05) increased across the treatments (7.74 – 11.33) as SBL levels increased in the diets. Nutrient digestibility varied (P<0.05) significantly across the treatments with exception of DM. The digestibility of CP, CF, ADF and ME were significantly (P<0.05) higher in diets with SBL compared to the control. Nitrogen intake (11.32 – 8.81g/day) and Nitrogen balance (5.99 – 4.01g/day) decreased (P<0.05) significantly across the treatments with increasing levels of SBL inclusion but Nitrogen retention (57.14 – 45.52%) was better in bucks on diet with 10%SBL inclusion compared to the other groups. Rumen pH differed significantly (P<0.05) among the groups but were within acceptable range (6.0-7.0) for rumen fermentation. Rumen Ammonia (20.83–27.25mg/100ml) were significantly (P<0.05) higher in animals on diet with SBL compared to control diets and were higher (14.08–36.42mg/100ml) at 8 hours post feeding. Similarly, TVFA were significantly (P<0.05) higher at 8 hours post feeding (28.67– 45.08mmol/l) but decreased (37.25-32.33mmol/l) at 30% SBL inclusion. Serum metabolites varied significantly (P<0.05) across the treatments but all fell within the acceptable range for healthy goats. Feed cost per kilogram decreased with increasing levels of SBL in the diets (N 61.40 – N 42.55). Feed cost (N) per kilogram gain was significantly (P<0.05) higher in diet with 30% SBL (475.89 – 442.76) compared to the other diets. Although animals on the control diet showed some level of performance over those on SBL diets, the cost of the control diet would obviously hinder farmers in utilizing it. It was therefore concluded from this trial, that SBL used in the formulation of diets for Red Sokoto bucks can be included in the diets for growing goats up to 10%.

GROWTH PERFORMANCE OF RED SOKOTO BUCKS FED WOOLY FINGER GRASS (Digitaria smutsii) HAY-BASED DIET WITH VARYING LEVELS OF SUN-DRIED BROILERLITTER

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