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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2014  |  Volume: 13  |  Issue: 11  |  Page No.: 672 - 677

Nutritive Value of Panicum maximum Ensiled with Two Cultivars of Lablab purpureus (Lablab purpureus L.) by West African Dwarf Ram

M.C. Alasa, O.O Falola and O.J. Babayemi    

Abstract: Silage making is an effective way of preservation both the quantity and quality of forages over hay making which is of paramount importance in sheep production. Supplementing Lablab purpureus (L. purpureus) improves the quality of Panicum maximum (P. maximum) in (P. maximum)/Lablab purpureus mixtures silages when used as basal diet. Information on P. maximum with L. purpureus mixtures as silage is scanty. The potential of Panicum maximum ensiled with two cultivars of Lablab purpureus (Highworth and Rongai) as dry season feed was therefore investigated. Silage characteristics were determined. Twenty-one West African dwarf rams were allotted to seven treatments on varying proportions of P. maximum ensiled with L. purpureus: 100% P. maximum (1), 75% P. maximum+25% Highworth (2), 50% P. maximum+50% Highworth (3), 25% P. maximum+75% Highworth (4) (75% P. maximum and 25% Rongai (5), 50% P. maximum and 50% Rongai (6) (25% Panicum maximum+75% Rongai (7) mixtures at 5% body weight for 98 days to assess Feed Intake (FI), Body Weight Gain (BWG), Dry Matter Digestibility (DMD) and nitrogen retention. Colour of silages was olive green with pleasant odour, firm texture, normal temperature (23-25°C) and pH range of 4.1-4.5. Least CP value was observed in diet 1 (9.0%) and highest in diet 4 (16.8%). Highest neutral detergent fibre, acid detergent fibre, acid detergent lignin were 56.1, 39.4 and 9.4%, respectively observed for diet 1. The least FI (573.87g) and BWG (23.81g) occurred in rams fed A while the highest FI (715.47g) and BWG (47.62g) was reported for rams fed G and D, respectively. Least DMD (40.4%) was obtained from rams fed E while highest (56.9%) was for rams fed G and percent retention differed significantly among treatment such that rams fed B had the least (30.7%) while those fed G had the highest (56.7%). 100% Panicum maximum diet had the least FI and WG while animals fed 25% Panicum maximum with 75% Rongai had the highest FI. Rams fed 25% Highworth had the least nitrogen retention while those fed 75% Rongai had the highest nitrogen retention. Better feed intake, nutrient digestibility, nitrogen utilization and growth rates of rams could be achieved when 25% Panicum maximum basal diets are supplemented with either of the two cultivars of lablab (Highworth or Rongai) at 75%. Rams placed on 25% Panicum maximum with 75% lablab performed better followed by those fed 50% Panicum maximum with 50% lablab. Similarly rams placed on 75% Panicum maximum with 25% Lablab purpureus performed better than those on sole Panicum maximum. 25% Panicum maximum ensiled with 75% lablab was thereby recommended.

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