Babale DM* and Augustine C
Received: March 30, 2019; Published: April 30, 2019
Corresponding author: Babale DM, Department of Animal Production, Adamawa State University, Mubi, Nigeria
The aim of this study was to evaluate growth performance of intact West African Dwarf bucks fed varying levels of local brewers’ dried grain with ber (Ziziphus jujube) leaves basal diet. Twelve (12) West African Dwarf bucks with average age of Twelve (12) months weighing 13 (+_0.7) Kg were used for the experiment. They were subjected to four experimental diets consisting of ber leaves (Ziziphus jujube) as basal diet, supplemented with local brewers’ dried grain at 50g, 100g, 150g and 200g designated as treatments T1, T2, T3 and T4 respectively. These treatments were replicated three times each. These diets were fed to the animals throughout the experimental period of 63 days. At the end of the experimental period, harness bags were used in collecting faecal droppings to determine apparent digestibility of the test diets. Data obtained were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) using a Randomized Complete Block Design using SAS (2001). Where significant differences occurred among means, Duncan Multiple Range Test was used to separate them. Total weight gain, average daily gain, feed conversion ratios, and feed efficiencies were influenced by the proportions of roughage and concentrate taken. While the dry matter intake of the supplemental diet (BDG) differed significantly (P<0.01) across treatments, those of the basal feed were similar (P>0.05) across treatments. Final live weights (FLW) differed (P<0.01) significantly across treatments with treatment T4 (16.43 Kg) the highest and treatment T1 (15.38 Kg) the lowest. The results also revealed that average daily weight gain (ADG), dry matter intake as percent of live weight (DMI%LVW), feed conversion ratio (FCR), feed conversion efficiency (FCE) and dry matter digestibility were significantly (P<0.01) different across treatments. These parameters improved with increase in the levels of the supplemental diet. The diets were therefore suitable for fattening goats.
Keywords: Growth Performance; Linear Measurements; Intact West African Dwarf goats; Ber leaves and Brewers’ dried grain
For raising meat goats, one of the important factors in maintaining economic viability is how quickly and efficiently goats grow. High growth rate and efficiency decreases the time that it takes the animals to reach market weight, which in turn decreases the labor and feed cost associated with raising them . Castration of food animals is a common management practice that imposes unnecessary pain and stress and may reduce performance (Hopkins-Shoemaker et al., 2004). Intact males have relatively greater muscle in the neck and forequarter than females or castrates. The presence of testicular hormones is related to greater muscle growth capacity in intact males (Arnold, 1997 as cited by Brandstetter, 2000). Castration is one of the management activities practiced in different parts of the country as castration in goats has an advantage of eliminating the strong male odor present in bucks. Un-castrated and sexually mature goats are difficult to sell, or they may have low market price because of their strong male taint. Castrations also affect growth and carcass composition (Solomon, 1991). Castrating yearling male sheep can reduce their growth capability and higher dressing percentages in castrated males than intact rams were reported (Demisse, 1988). Early castration has much greater effect on carcass quality especially on marbling degree than has latter castration and male kids not required for breeding should preferably be castrated at early ages, both to get good quality carcass and to prevent unwanted mating. The action and level of androgen differ at different ages and hence castration at different ages may produce different outcome. Claudete, et al.  reported that higher concentrate diet increases level of energy. With high proportion of soluble carbohydrates which are oxidized in the rumen, large amount of metabolic water is supplied to the animal. Therefore, even with little availability of water, even below requirement, animals will not have their performance impaired.
Animal protein consumption in Nigeria and other developing countries has been reported to be comparatively low Ayorinde and Aromolaran . The average Nigerian consumes about 54 grams of protein per day, with 6.5 grams coming from animal sources. This is a far cry from the recommended daily protein intake of 80 grams with 28 grams derivable from animal protein FAO .This problem has generally been attributed to shortage of animal protein products which is responsible for the existing high price of animal products making them out of reach to an average Nigerian Akinmutimi et al.  Etuk et al. . One of the ways of solving this problem is by directing efforts at promoting and encouraging production of prolific, indigenous animal species Ahamefule and Ibeawuchi ; Odoemelam et al. 2013. The West African dwarf goat is most prevalent in the hot humid forest zone of Southern Nigeria. Its relative tolerance to excessive humidity and trypanosomiasis, both of which are important factors in animal production in a forest zone has singled it out as a breed of choice in Southern Nigeria Odoemelam . The West African dwarf goat is early maturing, prolific and a non-seasonal breeder Osuagwuh and Akpokodje ; Akusu and Ajala . Nutrition has been identified as one of the major factors responsible for poor performance of this indigenous breed Odoemelam, et al. . The animals are exposed to severe nutritional stress especially during the dry season when forage is scarce and of low quality Agishi ; Lamidi, et al. . To improve on the productivity of this breed and hence the animal protein intake of the average Nigerian, it becomes necessary to supplement the seasonal fodder fluctuations of natural pasture with concentrates. However, the escalating price of conventional feedstuffs as a result of competition between man, industries and livestock Ukachukwu ; Esonu, et al. makes this difficult. Efforts by earlier researchers to test non-conventional, unexploited novel legumes Udedibie and Carlini ; Ukachukwu , on livestock in Nigeria are a welcome approach to the development of the subsector.
The experiment was conducted at the Livestock Teaching and Research Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, Adamawa State University Mubi, Nigeria. Mubi is located in the Northern part of Adamawa State. It lies on Latitude 90o11I north of the equator and Longitude 13o45I east of the Greenwich Meridian at an altitude of 696m above sea level. It is bounded in the South and East by Republic of Cameroun. The State has a land area of 4,728.77m2 and population of 245,460 (Saidu and Gadiga, 2004), it is situated in the Sudan Savanna zone of Nigeria. The vegetation type is best described as Combretacious woodland savanna (Areola, 1983) which consists of grasses or weeds and shrubs collectively making 70% of the entire vegetation. Some of these grasses, weeds and shrubs are used as animal feeds. The area has two distinct seasons; Rainy season lasts for four (4) months and dry season that lasts for eight (8) months. Annual rainfall ranges from 700-900mm with highest peak in August. The area has minimum temperature of 12.70C in January and maximum of 370C in April (Adebayo, 2004).
Feeds were obtained from two different sources in and around Mubi environs. The ber (Ziziphus jujube) leaves were obtained from the wild by lopping the trees and collecting the leaves and bagging after drying under the shade. Local Brewers’ dried grain was bought from the local beer brewers.
The experimental animals were bought from local markets in and around Mubi and Michika Local Government area, Adamawa State, Nigeria. Twelve (12) West African Dwarf bucks with average age of Twelve (12) months weighing about 13 (+_0.7)Kg were used for the experiments. The animals were then individually housed in wooden pens measuring 1.50m2 floor spaces and 1.50m heights. The floor was made of concrete and covered with wood shavings to conserve heat and absorb animal urine. All the animals were dewormed, treated against ectoparasites; Beranil was used against hemoparasites and antibiotics were administered. At the end of the adaptation period of one week after healing from castration, they were tagged and randomly allocated to different experimental diets. They were weighed to obtain initial weights and balanced for the weights before embarking on data collection. There were four (4) treatments each replicated three times making twelve (12) experimental animals.
The experimental diets consisted of ber leaves (Ziziphus jujube) as basal diet, supplemented with local brewers’ dried grain at 0g, 100g, 150g and 200g designated as treatments T1, T2, T3 and T4 respectively as indicated in Table 1. These diets were fed to the animals throughout the experimental period of 63 days. At the end of the experimental period, harness bags were used in collecting faecal droppings to determine apparent digestibility of the test diets.
Parameters determined were proximate compositions of experimental diets and faeces, dry matter intake (DMI), live weight, live weight changes and Digestibility. These were used to determine growth performance, digestibility of treatment diets, feed conversion ratios and feed efficiencies. Proximate compositions of experimental diets and faeces were determined using the methods described by (A.O.A.C, 2008). Daily dry matter intake (DMI) was obtained by finding the differences between the daily feed offered and feed rejected. Daily weight changes were determined by weighing the animals every week, Weight change in a week divided by seven gave the average daily weight change. Apparent digestibility was obtained as the difference between dry matter intake and fecal output divided by dry matter intake times hundred. Dry matter intake as a percentage of live weight was obtained by dividing dry matter intake by the live weight of animal times hundred. Feed efficiency was calculated by dividing weight gain by feed intake.
Data obtained were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) using a Randomized Complete Block Design using SAS (2001). Where significant differences occurred among means, Duncan Multiple Range Test (Duncan, 1955) was used to separate them.
While Table 1 shows the experimental diets, the chemical compositions of experimental diets are presented in Table 2. The crude protein levels of supplemental feed (brewers’ dried grain BDG) being 19.61% and basal feed Ziziphus jujube (16.10 %) are high enough to meet the nutritional requirements of goats (Devendra and Mcleroy, 1992). However, the crude fiber levels are lower than that required by the animals. Bhatta et al.  reported that although fodder trees are often valuable sources of dietary protein and energy for livestock in semi-arid regions, maximum nutritional and economic benefits could be harvested, if used as supplement rather than as a sole feed. Ghulam, et al.  found that tree leaves successfully replaced 50% concentrate in the ration of growing goats. Table 3 shows the effects of the experimental diets on growth performance of the animals. While the dry matter intake of the supplemental diet (BDG) differed significantly (P<0.01) across treatments, those of the basal feed were similar (P>0.05) across treatments. Final live weights (FLW) differed (P<0.01) significantly across treatments with treatment T4 (16.43 Kg) the highest and treatment T1 (15.38 Kg) the lowest. The results also revealed that average daily weight gain (ADG), dry matter intake as percent of live weight (DMI%LVW), feed conversion ratio (FCR), feed conversion efficiency (FCE) and dry matter digestibility were significantly (P<0.01) different across treatments. These parameters improved with increase in the levels of the supplemental diet.The effects of the diets on linear measurements are presented in Table 4. The effects of the experimental diets on linear body measurements are presented in Table 4. With the exception of girth circumference (GC), all the parameters were significantly (P<0.05) affected by the experimental diets. For heights at withers (HW), heights at rump (HR), abdominal circumference (AC) and abdominal length (AL) parameters, treatment T4 had the highest being 49.23cm, 54.70cm, 67.44cm and 42.61cm respectively. Neck circumference was highest in treatment T2 (119.23 CM) with that of T3 (95.66cm) the lowest. These results are similar to those obtained by Babale et al.  when they fed Red Sokoto male goats replacement levels of corn cobs for maize bran with cowpea husk basal diet. Berge (2007) as cited by Babale et al.  reported that recent studies have shown that body measurements could serve either to supplement body weight as a measure of productivity or as predictor of some less visible characteristics in goats .
Table 3: Chemical Composition of experimental feeds.
abc: Means with different superscripts within a row are significantly different (P<0.05), SEM: Standard Error of Means. ILW=Initial live weight, FLW=Final live weight, BDGI=Brewers’ dried grain intake, BLI=Ber leaves intake, TDMI=Total dry matter intake, ADG=Average daily gain, DMI%LVW=Dry matter intake as percent of live weight, FCE=Feed conversion efficiency, FCR=Feed conversion ratio and DMD=Dry matter digestibility.
Table 4: Effects of diets on linear measurements of West African Dwarf goats.
abc: Means with different superscripts within a column are significantly different (P<0.05).
NB: HW=Height at withers, HR=Height at rump, GC=Girth circumference, AC=Abdominal circumference, AL=Abdominal length, NL=Neck length and NC=Neck circumference.
SEM: Standard Error of Means.
In conclusion, although feeding the basal diet only (T1) without supplementation gave some weight gain (51.86g) supplementation significantly improved weight gain T2 (71.41g) to T4 (88.03g). The linear body measurements were also positively affected by supplementation. Therefore, fodder tree leaves may supplement the existing feed resources for small as well as large ruminant and can help to bridge the wider gap between demand and supply of nutrients. Tree leaves may become a rich source of supplementary protein, vitamins and minerals and their use in ruminant to enhance microbial growth and digestion. These diets are therefore recommended for fattening goats.
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