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Intake, Digestibility, Live Weight Changes and Rumen Parameters of Washera Sheep Fed Mixtures of Lowland Bamboo (Oxytenanthera abyssinica) Leaves and Natural Pasture Grass Hay at Different Ratios



Yeshambel Mekuriaw, Mengistu Urge and Getachew Animut
 
ABSTRACT

This study evaluated the feeding value of Lowland Bamboo Leaf Hay (LBLH) as basal diet when offered sole or in mixture with Natural Pasture Grass Hay (NPGH). Thirty local ‘Washera’ yearling male lambs with initial body weight of 23.8±1.35 kg (mean±SD) were grouped into six blocks of five animals and randomly assigned to five dietary treatments consisting of NPGH and LBLH at a ratio of 100:0 (T1), 75:25 (T2), 50:50 (T3), 25:75 (T4) and 0:100% (T5), respectively. The basal diets were fed ad libitum and all animals received 150 g Dry Matter (DM) Noug Seed Meal (NSM)/day. The study consisted of 90 days growth and 7 days digestibility trials. Rumen fluid was sampled at the end for pH and ammonia nitrogen determination. The Crude Protein (CP) level in NPGH, LBLH and NSM were 73, 111 and 322 g/kg DM, respectively. Total DM intake [705, 704, 644, 691 and 649 g/day (SEM = 3.1)] was similar (p>0.05) and CP intake [90, 99, 99, 103 and 109 for T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5, respectively (SEM = 0.9)] differ (p<0.05) among treatments. Digestibility coefficient of DM was similar among treatments and that of CP was in the order of T1 < T2 = T3 = T4 < T5 (p<0.001). Ruminal ammonia concentration was in the order of T5 > T4 > T3 > T2 = T1 (p<0.05). Average daily gain [25, 24, 25, 31 and 37 g/day (SEM = 1.1)] and feed conversion efficiency [0.035, 0.034, 0.038, 0.045 and 0.057 for T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5, respectively (SEM = 0.040)] were greater (p<0.05) for T5 as compared to T1, T2 and T3 and values for T4 was similar with all other treatments. In conclusion LBLH had a relatively better feeding value as compared to the NPGH used in this study and hence can be a good substitute to hay especially in the dry season when conventional roughages are in short supply and low in CP content.

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Yeshambel Mekuriaw, Mengistu Urge and Getachew Animut, 2012. Intake, Digestibility, Live Weight Changes and Rumen Parameters of Washera Sheep Fed Mixtures of Lowland Bamboo (Oxytenanthera abyssinica) Leaves and Natural Pasture Grass Hay at Different Ratios. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 11: 322-331.

DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2012.322.331

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=pjn.2012.322.331

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