Department of Animal Production and Livestock Management, College of Animal Science and Animal Production, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, 7267, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria
Receive Date: 20 January 2012,
Revise Date: 15 April 2012,
Accept Date: 01 May 2012
A study was carried out to evaluate nutrient intake and digestibility by West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep fed graded levels of dietary pigeon pea seed meal (PSM). Four diets designated A, B, C and D were formulated to contain 0, 10, 20, and 30% levels of PSM, respectively. Four WAD rams aged between 15 and 17 months and weighing between 16 and 19 kg were used to conduct digestibility study in a 4 × 4 latin square design experiment. Data were collected on dry matter intake (DMI), nutrient intake and digestibility. Simple linear regression and correlation were used to assess relationships between some of the digestion components.There were no significant (P>0.05) differences in DMI among the treatmentmeans.The nitrogen intake (g/d) was significantly (P<0.05) higher in the animal group fed PSM based diets rather than in the control group. Fecal nitrogen, though higher in the animals fed diets C and D, did not differ significantly (P>0.05). Urinary nitrogen was significantly (P<0.05) higher in the group fed PSM diets than in the control group. Apparent-nitrogen digestibility was also significantly (P<0.05) higher in the treatment groups fed PSM diets than in the control group. The metabolic faecal nitrogen (MFN) and the endogenous urinary nitrogen (EUN) increased by increasing levels of PSM. The biological value (BV) and digestible crude protein (DCP) also increased significantly (P<0.05) by increasing dietary levels of PSM. The results of this study indicated that dietary boiled pigeon pea seed meal enhanced digestibility and nutrient utilization by West African Dwarf sheep accompanying with the highest N-balance at 20% level of PSM.
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