EFFECTS OF INCLUSION LEVEL AND FEEDING REGIME OF Ficus sycomorus LEAVES ON PERFORMANCE OF YANKASA RAMS FED Digitaria smutsii AS BASAL DIET

N. P. Achi, J. N. Achi, C. Alphonsus

Abstract


The study was conducted to determine the effect of inclusion level and feeding regime of Ficus sycomorus (Baure (Hausa, Northern Nigeria), Tarmu (Kanuri), and Kamda (Babur/Bura)) on the performance of Yankasa ram. A total of 36 healthy rams were used for the study. Four complete diets were formulated to contain 16% crude protein with each diet containing 0, 5, 10, and 15%   inclusion levels of Ficus sycomorus. Each animal was fed at 2% body weight of the experimental feed on daily, skip-a-day and skip-2-days feeding regimes for a period of 91 days. Total feed intake, average daily weight gain, total weight gain were observed. The result showed that rams fed 10% inclusion level of Ficus sycomorus performed better in terms of weight gain and average daily gain (3.54kg and 39.78g/day, respectively). Skip-a-day feeding frequency also improved total dry matter intake, weight gain and average daily weight gain (202.09kg, 2.82 and 30.10g/day, respectively) than other feeding regimes. Dry matter intake was significantly improved (p<0.05) at skip-2-days feeding regime. Overall interaction at 0, 5, 10 and 15% inclusion levels of Ficus sycomorus (855.49kg, 865.97kg, 856.97kg and 846.92kg, respectively) had the highest compared to other interactions between feeding regime and inclusion levels of Ficus sycomorus. The total weight gain was significantly (p<0.05) higher in skip-a-day feeding regime (2.96kg, 3.11kg, 3.51kg  and 2.90kg, respectively) at 0, 5, 10 and 15% inclusion levels of Ficus sycomorus compared with other feeding regimes, while Skip-a-day at 10% inclusion of Ficus sycomorus had the highest (38.57g/day) average daily weight gain as compared with others. It can be concluded that inclusion of Ficus sycomorus leaves in the diet of Yankasa rams up to 10% improved the performance of the animals and skip-a-day feeding frequency gave better performance in terms of weight gain and average daily gain.

Keywords


Ficus sycomorus, Yankasa Rams, Feeding regime, Performance, Digitaria smutsii

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