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Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances

Year: 2019  |  Volume: 18  |  Issue: 8  |  Page No.: 260 - 269

Growth Performance, Nutrient Digestibility and Haematological Parameters of West African Dwarf Goats Fed Water Hyacinth Ensiled with Breadfruit

T.O. Abegunde and T.F. Akinropo


Ruminant animal production in the dry season is usually problematic as weight losses are experienced arising from scarcity of forages. Conservation of Water Hyacinth (WH) (Eicchornia crassipes) ensiled with Breadfruit (BF) can help to bridge this gap. This study investigated the feeding value of WH ensiled with different levels of BF (at 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40% of the total silage diet mixture) as feed for West African Dwarf (WAD) goats. Chopped WH (2-3 cm) and BF were mixed together while sawdust was included at a constant level of 10% in all treatments and designated as diets 1-5, respectively. The mixture was ensiled for 28 days. A total of 25 growing WAD goats of both sexes (5-7 months old) weighing between 4.25-5.50 kg were randomly allotted 5 experimental diets. Data on proximate composition, growth, nutrient utilization and haematology were collected and subjected to a one way analysis of variance using the General Linear Model (GLM) procedures of SAS while differences between means were separated using the Duncan’s multiple range test of the same package. The proximate composition showed significant (p<0.05) improvement in all parameters as Breadfruit increased in silage diets except for crude protein and ash. Increasing levels of BF in silage diets had a significant (p<0.05) effect on intake. Average daily gain (g/day) for goats were similar in diets 3 (36.36), 4 (39.24) and 5 (37.93) and higher (p<0.05) than those for animals on diet 1 (29.48). The feed conversion ratio for goats on diets 1 and 2 (9.65 and 9.53, respectively) were poorer than those (7.86, 7.55 and 7.81) obtained for goats fed diets 3-5, respectively. Nitrogen intake, faecal nitrogen and nitrogen loss (g/day) were higher (p<0.05) in goats fed diet 1 than in other diets. Haematological parameters improved as BF increased in silage diets. Glucose values (54.76-86.31 mg/dL) increased (p<0.05) across diets while total protein, albumin, urea and creatinine were unaffected by silage diets. Results demonstrated that water hyacinth diets ensiled with Breadfruit have potentials as feed for ruminants with optimum results in silage diets with Breadfruit inclusion levels of 30%.