Energy utilization for body weight gain of ram-lambs fed differently processed breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) meal in total mixed rations.
Keywords:Energy, growth, ficus foliage, breadfruit meal, sheep
The study was carried out to estimate the energy utilization for body weight gain in West African dwarf ram-lambs fed differently processed breadfruit meal in total mixed rations. Twenty non-castrated ram-lambs, about 7months of age with an average-initial body weight of 6.00 ± 0.55kg, were randomly assigned to four dietary treatments with five ram-lambs per treatment group in a completely randomized design. Ficus foliage with differently processed breadfruit meals and concentrate diet were used as treatment diets. Diet A (50% unpeeled raw breadfruit meal +20% Ficus foliage + 30% concentrate diet) B (50% peeled raw breadfruit +20% Ficus foliage + 30% concentrate diet), C (50% unpeeled soaked breadfruit meal +20% Ficus foliage + 30% concentrate diet) and D (50% unpeeled boiled breadfruit meal + 20% Ficus foliage + 30% concentrate diet). Results showed that faecal energy output (999.41MJ/g/day DM) was significantly (P< 0.05) highest in treatment diet Acompared with other treatment diets. Ram-lambs on treatment diets B and C had the significantly highest (P < 0.05) on digestible energy intake (1310.84 and 1295.62 MJ/g/day DM), metabolizable energy intake (1074.89 and 1062.41MJ/g/day DM), average total weight gain (4.18 and 4.13kg) and average daily weight gain (87.08 and 86.04g) compared with treatment diets A and D. Gross energy intake (4503.00MJ/g/day), average total feed intake (13.68kg), average daily feed intake (285.00g) and feed conversion ratio (4.44) were significantly (P < 0.05) better in ram-lambs on treatment diet D. There were no significant (P > 0.05) differences in urinary energy loss, metabolizability and initial body weight of ram-lambs. It was therefore concluded that diets B and C enhanced efficiency of energy utilization for body weight gain of ram-lambs.