Studies on West African dwarf sheep fed on basal hay or hay plus concentrates of varying protein contents. I-Dry matter and crude protein digestion and utilization
AbstractEffect of supplementation of grass-legume basal ration with cassava flour/ groundnut meal concentrates were investigated with respect to dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) intake, digestibility and nitrogen utilization in four fistulated and four intact West African dwarf wether sheep. Digestibility values obtained for fistulated sheep were not significantly different from those of intact sheep (P > 0·05). Total DM intake and digestibility were improved by supplementing roughage with concentrate; roughage intake decreased but concentrate intake increased as the levels of crude protein in the concentrate were increased. The equation relating DM intake (Y kg/day) to live weight (Wkg) of the sheep was: Y = 0·0885 W0.668kg Crude protein intake and digestibility were significantly improved by concentrate supplementation (P < 0·05); both increased as the levels of dietary protein were increased. The equation relating the digestibility of dietary crude protein (Y) to the percentage crude protein of the concentrates (X1) and percentage of concentrate in the diet (X2) is given as: Y = 51·67 + 1·33 X1 - 0·027 X2 The values obtained for retained were high indicating efficient utilization of dietary by the growing sheep.