Shea nut cake in supplemental concentrate for growing djallonke rams fed a basal diet of rice straw and groundnut haulms in the dry season

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Graded levels of Shea Nut Cake (SNC) was evaluated as part of supplemental concentrate for growing Djallonke rams to determine its effects on the growth performance and the haematological and biochemical profile of the sheep. The experimental sheep were fed with rice straw and groundnut haulms ad libitum and supplemented with two concentrate diets with 11.5% or 23.0% shea nut cake. The treatment diets were labeled as T1 (rice straw and groundnut haulms; control diet), T2 (control diet plus concentrate containing 11.5% SNC) and T3 (control diet plus concentrate containing 23.0% SNC). All the animals received 700 g of the control diet which comprised a mixture of 20 mm pieces of rice straw (62.5%) and groundnut haulms (37.5%) daily. In addition T2 and T3 rams received 200 g of the appropriate supplemental diet daily. The experimental animals had a mean initial weight of 12 ± 2.4 kg and were 12 ± 2 months of age. The experimental design was double 3 x 3 Latin square. Thus each treatment diet was assigned to two animals at a time. Each feeding period was made up of four weeks. The first three weeks of each round was the adjustment period and data were collected during the last week of the round. Dry matter intake, weight gain, and blood samples were taken for analysis. The results indicated that total dry matter intake (TDMI) was significantly different (P<0.05) among the three treatments in the order T1< T3 < T2. Straw intake (Basal Diet) was significantly (P<0.05) lower in T3 than in T1 and T2 animals. Substitution rate increased from 0.15 in T2 to 0.45 in T3 as the SNC inclusion level increased from 11.5% to 23.0% in the treatment diets. The average daily weight gain obtained for the three dietary treatments were 20.88 g/d, 31.86 g/d and 37.74 g/d for T1, T2 and T3 respectively. The haematological values recorded were not significantly different between treatment groups. However, the serum total protein of animals on T3 was significantly (P<0.01) higher than that for those on T1 but similar to that of the T2 group. It was concluded that shea nut cake can be included in supplementary diets for Djallonke sheep up to 23.0% without adverse effects on growth performance and the haematological profile and serum metabolites of the sheep.
Thesis submitted to the school of graduate studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of science and technology, Kumasi, in partial fufilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science (Animal Nutrition) Degree