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Research Article

Productive and Blood Indices of Dwarf Rams Fed a Mixture of Rice Straw and Groundnut Haulms Alone or Supplemented with Concentrates Containing Different Levels of Shea Nut Cake

S.P. Konlan, P.K. Karikari and T. Ansah
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Six juvenile West African dwarf rams were used for three periods in a double 3 x 3 Latin square design to test the nutritional value of three home-made diets meant for use as dry season sheep feed in the Tolong-Kumbungu district of the Northern region of Ghana. The three dietary treatments were: mixture of 625 g/kg DM rice straw and 375 g/kg DM groundnut haulms (T1), T1 + concentrate feed containing 115 g/kg DM shea nut cake (T2) and T1 + concentrate feed containing 230 g/kg DM shea nut cake (T3). Each period consisted of 14 days of adaptation to the feed and 14 days in which data were collected. Total DMI was significantly low (p<0.05) when the rams were on T1 (453.4 g/d) compared to when on T2 (612.0 g/d) and T3 (627.6 g/d). Daily weight gain values obtained when rams were on T1 and T3 differed (p<0.05), but the value obtained when on T2 was similar to T1 and T3; the values being 20.3 g, 31.2 g and 39.3 g for T1, T2 and T3, respectively. Concentrate supplementation improved DM and CP digestibility with values being significantly higher on T2. Supplementation did not affect the haematological and serum biochemical indices of the rams except total protein and albumin, which two values were significantly high on T3. It was observed that supplementation increased DMI, daily weight gain and serum total protein and albumin due to the high crude protein and energy contents of the supplemental concentrate. It was concluded that all three test diets were suitable for dry season sheep feeding in the test area and that shea nut cake could be included in sheep diets up to 230 g/kg DM without any harmful effect on their haematological and serum biochemical profile.

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S.P. Konlan, P.K. Karikari and T. Ansah, 2012. Productive and Blood Indices of Dwarf Rams Fed a Mixture of Rice Straw and Groundnut Haulms Alone or Supplemented with Concentrates Containing Different Levels of Shea Nut Cake. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 11: 566-571.

DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2012.566.571


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