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On farm evaluation of sun-dried Ziziphus spina-christi leaves substitution for natural pasture hay on feed intake and body weight change of Bati goat breeds in Ethiopia
- Ali, Ansha, Tegegne, Firew, Asmare, Bimrew, Mekuriaw, Zeleke
- Tropical animal health and production 2019 v.51 no.2 pp. 457-463
- Ziziphus spina-christi, animal feeding, average daily gain, body weight changes, diet, dry matter intake, feed conversion, goat breeds, goats, grass hay, leaves, males, mixing, on-farm research, pasture plants, pastures, solar drying, Ethiopia
- The study was conducted to evaluate the effect of feeding different levels of sun-dried Ziziphus spina-christi (ZC) leaves on feed intake and live weight gain of local male goats. Twenty-five male local breed of goats at 1 year of age (body weight; BW = 20.7 ± 0.72 kg) were randomly allocated to five treatments and five replications. Treatments were as follows: T1 (grass hay only; control group); T2 (75% grass hay + 25% ZC leaves); T3 (50% grass hay + 50% ZC leaves); T4 (25% grass hay + 75% ZC leaves), and T5 (100% ZC leaves). The study lasted for 90 days. During this period, feed intake, BW change, and average daily gain were evaluated. There was a significant difference in total dry matter intake of goats fed on different levels of ZC leaves compared with the control group. Mixing of the pasture grass hay diet improved (P < 0.05) goats feed intake from 440 to 592 g/head/day at the minimum proportion of 25% ZC and natural pasture mixture. However, there was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in feed intake among the supplemented groups (T2–T5) as ZC leaves proportion increased. Goats in the control group and in the 25% ZC treatment diet gained 31.4 and 46.7 g, which was not different (P > 0.05). The highest average daily BW was gained (P < 0.05) in goats supplemented with the highest level (100%) of ZC leaves. T5 (100% ZC leaves supplementation) showed a significant increment (P < 0.05) in body weight gain of goats over other treatments and the control. Feed conversion ratio was increased (P < 0.05) with increased inclusion level of ZC leaves. Goats on supplemented treatments 1 and 2; treatments 4 and 5 had no significant difference (P > 0.05) in feed conversion efficiency while there was a significant (P < 0.05) difference between treatments 2 and 3 diets which had higher (P < 0.05) feed conversion ratio than the control groups. Generally, the results of the current study showed that supplementation of goats with above 50% level of dried ZC leaves in their diet significantly increased feed intake and body weight gain by improving feed conversion efficiency of goats.