Nutritional potential of differently processed Cajanus cajan leaves on nutrient digestibility and nitrogen utilization of West African dwarf growing rams fed Panicum maximum
Keywords:Tropical grass, Processed Cajanus cajan forages, WAD rams, Digestibility, Nitrogen utilization
Browse legume plants particularly pigeon pea forage generates a lot of underutilized leaves which if properly harnessed can be a cheaper source of nutrients for small ruminant animal production, during dry season feed shortages. In this study, the nutrient digestibility and nitrogen utilization of West African dwarf growing rams fed differently processed Cajanus cajan leaves and Panicum maximum basal diet for 56 days feeding trial. A total of sixteen
(16) growing WAD rams between 6 - 9 months with an average body weight of 7.00 - 12.00k were randomly allocated to 4 treatments with 4 rams each and 2 rams per replicate. The experimental diet was fed at 3% body weight of individual ram while fresh, wilted, and dried forms of Cajanus cajan leaves supplemented at varied inclusion levels (0%, 30% fresh, 30% wilted and 30% dried) with Panicum maximum. There were significant (P<0.05) differences
in all parameters determined on nutrient digestibility across the dietary treatments. Animals maintained on T (70% Panicum maximum and 30% dried Cajanus cajan leaves) had the 4 highest dry matter digestibility (60.46%), while the lowest value (48.56%) for DMD was recorded in T diet. Rams fed T diet had the highest mean crude protein digestibility (CPD) 1 2 value of 11.30%, followed by T (10.68%), 10.02% for T , while T diet had the lowest mean 2 1 4
CPD of 9.21%. Rams fed T diet had the highest mean crude fibre digestibility (CFD) value of 1 37.65%, while 35.03, 33.18 and 32.71 were recorded for T , T and T diet respectively. T was 4 2 3 4 observed to have the highest mean ash digestibility value of 17.07% with T , T and T having 3 1 2 the value of 16.02, 14.28 and 13.36 respectively. There were significant (P<0.05) differences in all parameters determined on nitrogen utilization across the dietary treatments. Ram
maintained on T diet had the highest mean intake of 4.42g/d while T diet had the lowest 2 1 mean value of 2.64g/d. The lowest mean nitrogen balance (NB) of 0.43g/d was observed in rams fed T diet while rams on T diet had the highest NB value of 2.18g/d. Rams fed T diet 1 2 4 had the highest faecal nitrogen value of 2.14g/d. However, rams maintained on T diet had 4 the highest value urinary nitrogen of 1.07g/d. The nitrogen utilization fluctuated
significantly (P<0.05) across the dietary treatments. It can be concluded that supplementation of fresh Cajanus cajan forages at 30% inclusion with Panicum maximum at 70% for growing rams can enhance nutrient utilization in terms of crude protein digestibility and nitrogen utilization without any deleterious effects on the animals.