A preliminary study on nutrient digestibility by West African dwarf goats fed graded levels of shea nut (Vitellaria paradoxa) cake-based rations
Keywords:Agro –industrial waste, digestibility, feed deficits, shea nut cake
Feed shortage which rises from seasonal feed deficits, erratic supply of feed ingredients with competition between humans and livestock for available feed resources, possesses a major constraint to goat production in Nigeria. This has led to low level of livestock productivity. In this regards, there is need to search for alternative but cheaper feedstuffs. Shea nut cake (SNC), an agro industrial waste product could be used as one of the economic strategy to ameliorate feed shortage. The current study was focused on the effect of dietary inclusion of Shea nut cake on nutrients digestibility of West African Dwarf goats using six (6) growing males WAD goats. Diets consist of 0%, 10% and 15% shea nut cake inclusion levels in combination with wheat offal, corn bran, cassava peel, cowpea husk, and the dietary treatments were designated as T1, T2, and T3 respectively. The experimental animals were allotted to three treatments in a completely randomized design with two animals per treatment. The animals were transferred into a wooden metabolic cage fitted with facilities to collect faeces which lasted for 14 days. Crude protein, ether extract, ash and neutral detergent fibre concentrations of the experimental diets were 9.18-11.37%, 2.03-2.79, 9.63-12.11% and 30.69-48.51% respectively. The result obtained for average daily weight gain was higher (p<0.05) for T2 (64.29g) compared to T1 (35.72g) and T3 (35.72g) which were similar. The feed conversion ratio showed no significant (p<0.05) effect among T1 (14.32) and T3 (14.07) while T2 (8.00) is significantly higher. Significant differences (p<0.05) were observed among treatment groups for nutrients digestibility. The goats placed under T2 (10%) recorded the highest digestibility coefficient for all the nutrients. However the crude protein, ether extract, ash and neutral detergent fibre digestibilities were between 45.76- 74.26%, 57.19-67.73%, 56.09-76.66% and 55.28-78.28% respectively. It was however observed that T2 (10%) SNC inclusion had the highest digestibility coefficient in all the nutrients by West African dwarf goats.