F. B. Hassan, A. G. Bala, S. Bashir, C. A. M. Lakpini, W. O. Ehoche


The study was conducted at the National Animal Production Research Institute Shika, Zaria, Nigeria to compare the feeding values of Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) or Wooly finger grass (Digitaria smutsii) as basal diet on growth performance and some blood metabolites in weaned female Yankasa lambs. Twenty weaned female Yankasa lambs with an average body weight of 10± 2kg were randomly assigned to four treatments with five lambs per treatment in a randomized complete block design. They were fed with either Cynodon dactylon (treatments A and B) or Digitaria smutsii (treatments C and D) ad-libitum. Lambs in treatments A and C were supplemented at 1.00% of body weight (BW) while those in treatments B and D were supplemented at 1.50% BW. The concentrate was a mixture of maize (75.20%), cottonseed cake (23.80%), common salt (0.50%), and bone meal (0.50%). Feed intake, weight gain, nutrient digestibility and serum metabolites were determined. The result showed that there was no difference in the nutrient content of Digitaria and Cynodon, but the analysis of concentrate revealed a higher level of crude protein and lower levels of neutral and acid detergent fibers. The forage intake was higher in Digitaria but not significantly (P>0.05) different from Cynodon. There was an increase in concentrate intake as the level of supplementation increased. The same trend was observed with the total intake. Supplementation at 1.50% gave higher (P>0.05) total intake than at 1.00% supplementation. Daily weight gain was higher (P>0.05) with Cynodon supplemented at 1.50% BW than with Digitaria supplemented at 1.50% BW. Cynodon supplemented at 1.50% BW was found to be the most efficient and was significantly (P<0.05) different from Digitaria supplemented at 1.50% BW. The nutrient digestibility result also showed that lambs fed Cynodon dactylon were marginally higher than in lambs fed Digitaria smutsii, irrespective of the concentrate inclusion. Supplementation was found to increase the level of blood protein, albumin, and globulin. It was concluded from the study that Cynodon dactylon is a good forage substitute for Digitaria smutsii at a high supplementation level of 1.50%. It is hence recommended that Cynodon dactylon which is a native pasture available as weed in all the ecological zones of the country can be effectively used as forage for small ruminant production


Cynodon dactylon, Digitaria smutsii, Concentrate, Female, Lambs

Full Text:



AOAC (2005). Official Methods of Analysis of Association of Official Analytical Chemist, 15th Edition, Washington D. C., U. S. A.

Aregawi, T., Animut, G. and Kassa, H. (2013). Utilization and nutritive value of sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) straw as feed for livestock in the North western lowlands of Ethiopia. Livestock Research for Rural Development. (25), 124.

Christensen, R. G., Yang, S. Y., Eun, J. S., Young, A. J., Hall, J. O., & MacAdam, J. W. (2015). Effects of feeding birdsfoot trefoil hay on neutral detergent fiber digestion, nitrogen utilization efficiency, and lactational performance by dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 98 (11). Pp. 7982 - 7992.

Franke, A. C., Rufino, M. C. and Farrow, A. (2011). Characterization of the impact zones and mandate areas in the N2Africa Project. Milestone reference number 1.4.1, Pp.50

Gefu, J. O. (2002). Socioeconomic consideration in small ruminant production. In ; Small Ruminant Production Training Workshop manual. C.A.M lakpini et al (editors) pp 8-11.

Gonçalves, E. N., Carvalho, P. C. F., Kunrath, T. R., Carassai, I. J., Bremm, C and Fischer, V. (2009). Relações planta-animal em ambiente pastoril heterogêneo: processo de ingestão de forragem. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia, v. 38, n. 9, p. 1655-1662.

I.A.R. (2005). Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University weather station.

Khan, A. A., Sai, M., Rao, B., Ravi, D., Prasad, K. V. S., Anandan, S., Reddy, Y. R and Blummel, M. (2016).Effect of varying the crop residue, cultivar and physical form on intake and nutrient utilization in Deccani sheep fed complete diets. Animal Nutrition and Feed Technololgy. 16: Pp. 197–208.

Lakpini, C. A. M. (2002). Feed and feeding strategies for small ruminant in various physiological stage in: Small ruminant Production Training Workshop manual. Pp. 40-47.

Lamidi, A. A. and Ogunkunle, T. (2016). Nutritional piotential of Poultry dropping meal as feed resources for ruminant production in Niger Delta, Nigeria. Global Agricultural Science and Technology, 1: Pp. 1-11.

Levy, D, Holzer, Z., Neumark, H., and Anim, S. (1974). The effect of dietary energy content and level of feeding on growth of Israeli-Friesian intact male cattle. Animal production 18: 67-73

Meissner, R.., Brown, L., Durbaum, H. J., Franke, W., Fuschs, K. and Seiferet, F. (1991). Continental Lithosphere: Deep Seismic Reflections Geodyn. Ser., 22. AGU, Washington, D.C.

Nsahlai, I. V. and Umunna, N. N. (1996). Sesbania and lablab supplementation of oat hay basal diet fed to sheep with or without maize grain. Animal and Feed Science Technology, 61: Pp 275-289.

Ogundipe, S. O. (2002). Ration formulations and least cost rations for small ruminant in small ruminant production workshop manual. C.A.M Lakpini et al editors pp.49-62

Ojo, V. O. A., Olufemi, S. J., Adetokunbo, G. A., Odunaye, B. T., Bakare, B.A and Adeyemi, T. A. (2017). Growth components and chemical composition of some improved dual-purpose cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) varieties as influenced by manure application. Nigerian Journal of Animal Production, 44 (2):229-310.

Orskov, E. R. (1994). Recent advances in understanding of microbial transformation in ruminant. Journal of Livestock Production Science. 39: 53-60

Santra, A., Agarwal, N. D. N., Pai hak, N. N. (1999). Effect of level of concentrate supplement on blood biochemical changes and testosterone level in cross bos indicus calves. Australian Journal of Animal Science. Pp. 34

SAS. (2003). SAS/STAT. Guide for personal computer version, 6th Edition. Statistical Analysis System Institute, Inc. Cary, North Carolina, USA.

Singh M. K., Tripathi, M. K., Dixit, A. K and Singh, S. K (2016). Effect of straw type (Cajnus cajan or Cicer arietinum) and form of diet on growth, feed efficiency and slaughter performance of weaned Jamunapari goat kids. Indian Journal of Animal Science. 86 (3). Pp 329–334.

Tripathi, P., Dutta T. K., Tripathi M. K., Chaudhary, U. B and Kumar R. (2014). Preparation of complete feed pellet from monsoon herbages (Dactylotennium aegypticum, Cenchrus ciliaris and Tephrosia purpurea) and its utilisation in kids. Indian Journal of Small Ruminants. 20 (1). Pp. 31–36.

Van Soest, P. J. (1995). Comparison of two different equations for predicting digestibility from cell contents, cell wall constituents and lignin content of ADF. Journal of Dairy Science, 48: 815.

Venkateswarlu, M., Reddy, Y. R. and Reddy, M. S. (2013). Effect of feeding crop residues based complete rations on growth in ram lambs. International Journal Science and Environmental Technology. 2(1). Pp. 15–19.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Comments on this article

View all comments

Copyright (c) 2019 Journal of Animal Production Research