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Protein, antinutrients intake and digestibility of west african dwarf ewes fed graded levels of vernonia amygdalina leaf meal diets

Author: 
Fajemisin A.N, Fadiyimu A.A and Alokan J.A
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Twenty West Africa Dwarf (WAD) Ewes of 10-12 months old were randomly assigned to five treatments in a completely randomized design experiment to assess the protein, antinutrients intake and digestibility by West African Dwarf ewes fed graded levels of Vernonia amygdalina leaf meal (VALM) diets and the experiment lasted 56 days. The diets were formulated such that 0% (A), 25% (B), 50% (C), 75% (D) and 100% (E) of brewer’s dried grain was replaced with Vernonia amygdalina leaf meal (w/w) respectively. The VALM had the highest crude protein (CP) content, while the profile of antinutients showed that diet E had the highest values. The inclusion of VALM in the diets influenced the intake of Dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), saponin and alkaloid significantly (P<0.05) and the intake values of phytate, oxalate and tannin were statistically similar (P>0.05). The treatment effect on the apparent digestibility varied significantly (P<0.05), the nitrogen retention and weight gain values of animals fed diets B and C indicated better performance, while the poor response of animals fed diet E might be associated with the astringent property of VALM which might influence depressed appetite and poor feed utilization. It could be concluded that VALM has good potentials to serve as source of protein supplement for growing ewes’ diets, substituting for brewer’s dried grains at 25% and 50% without adverse effect on the animals’ health, but the effective use of VALM in ruminants’ diets needs further investigation.

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