Feed Intake, Growth Performance and Carcass Characteristics of West African Dwarf Sheep Fed Moringa oleifera, Gliricidia sepium or Cassava Fodder as Supplements to Panicum maximum

Feed Intake, Growth Performance and Carcass Characteristics of West African Dwarf Sheep Fed Moringa oleifera, Gliricidia sepium or Cassava Fodder as Supplements to Panicum maximum

The performance and carcass characteristics of West African dwarf (WAD) sheep fed Panicum maximum supplemented with Moringa oleifera, Gliricidia sepium or cassava fodder, were investigated in a randomized complete block and completely randomized design experiments respectively. Twenty four growing WAD sheep (10.7 kg average live weight) were randomly allotted to four dietary treatments: 1: 100% P. maximum (control), 2: 75% P. maximum + 25% M. oleifera, 3: 75% P. maximum + 25% G. sepium, 4: 75% P. maximum + 25% Cassava leaves. Dry matter (DM) intake (g/kgW0.75/day) ranged between 74.6 for treatment 4 and 92.7 for treatment 3. Crude protein (CP) intake in treatment 3 was higher than in treatments 1 and 4. Growth rate ranged between 6.53 g/day to 12.74 g/day for treatments 1 and 4 respectively while treatments 2 and 4 had better feed conversion ratio than treatment 1. Average dressing percentage was 33.9% and there was no significant difference in the carcass characteristics among the various treatments. It was concluded that Moringa oleifera is a suitable alternative to Gliricidia sepium as supplement in small ruminant diets.

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