3 Ministry of Education, Director General for Higher Education Policy System, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Acute shortage of feed and very poor quality of the available feeds during the dry season are the prime limiting factors for increasing the production and productivity of small ruminants in most agroecological zones of Ethiopia. Thus, the study evaluated the effect of concentrate mixture of wheat bran and Sesame seed cake (T1), Atella (T2), Faidherbia albida (T3) and Sesbania sesban leaves (T4) on feed intake, digestibility, body weight change and economical profitability of local sheep.
Twenty-four yearling intact local male sheep with mean Initial Body Weight (IBW) of 18 ±1.55 kg (mean ± SD) were used for the experiment. The study was conducted using randomized complete block design and sheep were blocked into six based on their IBW. Sheep within a block were randomly assigned to treatments. The experiment had 90 days feeding trial and 7 days digestibility trial after 15 and 3 days acclimatization period, respectively. The amount of supplements offered was 300 (T1), 330 (T2), 360 (T3) and 280 (T4) g/day on DM basis, each calculated to supply 73.6 g/day Crude Protein (CP).
Hay intake in T1, T2 and T4 (397˗400 ±1.44g/day) were significantly (P < 0.001) higher than T3 (375±1.44 g/day). Total DM intake was in the order of T2 = T3>T1> T4 (p<0.001) (698, 730, 735 and 677 g/day for T1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively. Digestibility of CP was in the order of T1 > T2>T4 > T3 (p<0.001), while the value in T2 differed only with T3 (75.6, 73.4, 60.2 and 67.9 for T1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively). Average Daily Gain (ADG) was 50, 45, 38 and 42 g/day for T1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively and differed only between T1 and T3. The partial budget analysis indicated that, sheep supplemented with Atella returned higher net income (5.46 US$) than T1 (1.93 US$), T3 (2.56 US$) and T4 (3.2 US$); similarly, MRR was also higher in T2 (93.7%) compared to T3 (56.1%) and T4 (50.4%).
Sheep producers can use the supplement feeds in the order of T2, T4 and T3, respectively, based on their availability.
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Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Animal Science, Aksum University Shire Campus, P.O. Box 314, Shire, Ethiopia;