EFFECT OF SUPPLEMENTATION LEVEL ON GROWTH PERFORMANCE AND BLOOD PROFILE OF BUNAJI BULLS GRAZED ON GAMBA GRASS (Andropogon gayanus KUNTH) IN THE SEMI-ARID ZONE OF NIGERIA

U. Ibrahim, I. R. Muhammad, S. A. Maigandi, R. M. Ashiru, M. J. Musa, M. Nasir, A. G. Khaleel, S. Madaki, M. H. Zango

Abstract


The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of supplementation level on growth performance and blood profile of Bunaji bulls. Nine Bunaji bulls with an average live weight of 190±1.50kg were used in a thirteen weeks grazing experiment. The animals were balanced by weight and allotted to three treatments in a completely randomized design with three animals per treatment. The treatments were 0.00, 0.75 and 1.50% body weight supplementation levels. The animals were allowed access to an established Gamba pasture for grazing and then supplemented with cowpea husk daily. The animals were weighed at the on-set and at termination of the trial to monitor weight changes, while blood samples were taken at termination of the trial to determine the concentrations of haemoglobin (Hb), packed cell volume (PCV), red blood cells (RBC), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), white blood cells (WBC), serum total protein (TP), blood glucose (BG) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). The results showed that animals offered 1.50% body weight supplementation level had significantly (P<0.05) higher daily weight gains (661.17g/day) relative to 0.75% level (322.35g/day). The values for PCV, RBC, TP and BUN showed significant (P<0.05) variations between levels and control but were statistically (P>0.05) similar between levels. Irrespective of the level, values for PCV, RBC, TP and BUN proved superior (P<0.05) to control treatment, but all other values showed no significant (P>0.05) differences across the treatments. In conclusion, supplementation at either 0.75% or 1.50% body weight increased the live weight gains of the bulls by 4.89% or 21.00%, respectively. Values for blood variables of the bulls were within normal physiological ranges for healthy cattle. Daily supplementation at 1.50% body weight, particularly with cowpea husk, is hereby recommended for Bunaji bulls grazed on Gamba grass for better performance.

Keywords


Bunaji bulls, Gamba grass, supplementation level

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