Feeds And Feeding Of Sheep And Goat

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Engineering AE

Feeds And Feeding Of Sheep And Goat


Comparisons were made between 24 Ethiopian rams and 24 Galla goats for voluntary intake, feed selectivity and growth performance when offered three levels of sorghum stover. The levels observed were 25,50 and 75 g/kg live weight per day. Measurements of intake, growth and feed selectivity were taken over a period of 10 weeks.
Both sheep and goats consumed more stover (P<0.001) as rate of offer was increased (22, 31, 32 gDM/kg live weight per day; 19,26,29 g/kg live weight per day, respectively, for sheep and goats). Increasing the level of offer beyond 50g/kg live weight per day did not, however, promote a substantial increase in intake. No difference (P>0.05) was observed in the pattern of feed selectivity between sheep and goats.

Both species showed a similar preference for leaf and sheath matter as the level of offer was increased.Sheep gained weight faster (P<0.001) than goats at all rates of offer, (28.0 vs 9.0; 54.0 vs 23.0; 62.0 vs 31.6 in favour of sheep). Those on a higher level of offer showed a faster rate of gain than those on a lower level of offer.

It was concluded that both species can benefit from generous offers and that the benefit, judged by improved intake and growth, is due to selective feeding.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

Previous studies (Aboud et al, 1992) clearly indicate the value of selective feeding. Sheep were shown to perform better and consume more digestible matter through selective intake of leaf and sheath fractions of sorghum stover as a result of liberal offers. This observation is of practical value for small ruminants in the tropics because the traditional feeding systems depend largely on crop residues. However, there is little evidence in the literature that the approach adopted by Aboud et al (1992) would be as effective for goats as it was for sheep. Results from comparative studies between sheep and goats of selective efficiency are generally conflicting (Huston, 1978; Devendra and Bums, 1983). Goats in the tropics are more able than sheep to consume feed fractions of higher nutritional quality when offered the opportunity to eat selectively (Devendra and Burns, 1983; Hoppe et al, 1977; Huston, 1978).

This observation does not agree with studies carried out in temperate countries, where sheep have been shown to perform better than goats under most practical feeding systems. A comparative feeding and performance study on Small East African goats and the Red Maasai sheep in Tanzania (Shoo, 1986) was inconclusive, although sheep appeared to perform better than goats when offered a basal diet of Chlorisgayanahay with Leucaenaas a supplementary forage. However, observations in Shoo’s (1986) study did not include an assessment of selective feeding ability between the two species. The inclusion of a supplementary forage may have confounded the results, as it is known that goats would preferentially consume browse species (Lu, 1988). Most of the comparative studies in the tropics were made under grazing conditions, whereas those in the temperate countries involved comparisons under stall-feeding conditions in which feed was offered at restricted levels, usually at 35 g dry matter M(D)/kg live weight per day or to achieve 10-20% rate of refusal. Comparative studies under grazing or in stalls at restricted levels of offer may give misleading results (Demment and Van Soest, 1983). Restricted levels of offer do not usually provide sufficient opportunity for selective feeding (Aboud et al, 1993). This is particularly serious where low-quality crop residues are used in comparisons.

No performance comparison has been made between sheep and goats that have been fed untreated crop residues at levels that would allow selective intake. Alimon (1989) only measured the digestible organic matter (OM) intake of goats offered increasing levels of feed, but did not measure any related growth performance. Aboud et al (1993) showed that certain levels of offer encouraged sheep to eat selectively. By offering goats and sheep the same type of sorghum stover at these levels both species may perform similarly.

1.1 Objectives of the Study

The general objective of the studies was to find better methods of feeding sugar cane and some protein-rich foliage species to get the highest feed intake and the best performance in small ruminants.

The specific objectives were:

  1. To assess the effect of animal factors such as animal species(sheep and goats) and group size (single and group pens) on feed intake, behaviour and growth rate.
  2. To test the effect of some feed factors such as
    1. Processing method of sugar cane and Acacia foliage
    2. Level of feed offered of sugar cane
    3. Supplementation with concentrate
    4. Method of presentation of foliage and mixtures of foliages
    5. Utilization of bamboo charcoal to reduce the antinutritional effect of tannins in Acacia foliageon feed intake, behaviour and growth rate.
  3. To identify the intake potential of sugar cane and three tropical foliage species by small ruminants.

1.3 Significance of the Study

Inadequacy of livestock feeds in the dry season particularly protein is a major constraint to livestock production in the tropics. Acacia species, such as A.niloticaare found in most tropical countries. They have a relatively high crude protein ranging from 12 to 30%. Notwithstanding, their availability and potential as an alternative source of protein to livestock, they are mainly used for tanning of leather, as medicine and for reclamation of degraded lands. This study attempts to explore the possibility of using A. nilotica pods in feeding Galla goats.

1.4 Scope of the Study

The study was carried out on feeds and feeding of sheep and goat. The study was limited to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

1.5 Organization of the Study

The study is organized into six chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. Chapter four discusses the results of the study. The study concludes with chapter six which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.

Chapter Six

6.0 Conclusion and Recommendation

6.1 Conclusion

In Expt. I, feeding differently processed A. nilotica pods affected the intake of feed, feed conversion ratio and final body weight amongst Galla goats. It also affected the digestibility of some feed nutrients like crude protein, ether extracts, neutral detergent fibre and hemicellulose. Differently processed A. nilotica pods also significantly affected nitrogen intake and faecal nitrogen in Galla goats. Sun-dried acacia pods gave the best result in most of the parameters measured.

In Expt. II, feeding graded levels of sun-dried A. nilotica as replacement for cotton seed cake in experimental diets did not significantly affect feed intake in Red Sokoto goats. However, there were significant differences in weight gain, daily weight gain, feed conversion ratio and cost (N) per weight gain (kg). Feeding graded levels of sun-dried A. nilotica pods significantly affected the digestibility of ether extract, crude fibre, acid detergent fibre and hemicellulose; it also affected nitrogen intake, faecal nitrogen, and urinary nitrogen in Galla goats, as well as most of the haematological parameters and blood metabolites (PCV,
Hb, TPP, PUN, and Cr) measured in this Experiment .

From the aforementioned the following conclusions are made:

  1. Processing A. nilotica pods by sun-drying is preferred to other methods of processing used in terms of daily feed intake, feed conversion ratio, final body weight and processing cost.
  2. The levels of some anti-nutritional factors (Tannin) in A. nilotica pods, were found to be within the tolerable levels for goats.
  3. Feed cost of Galla goats can be reduced by replacing cotton seed cake in their diets with sun-dried A. nilotica pods; 25% replacement level is the best level.

6.2 Recommendations

  1. Sun-dried Acacia pods can be used to maintain body weight of goats and improve their general well-being; particularly during period of feed scarcity. Twenty five percent (25%) of cotton seed cake in their diets can be replaced with sun-dried Acacia pods to help reduce cost of feeding and ensure regular availability of animal protein and at affordable prices.
  2. Small-holder farmers should be educated on the benefits of A. nilotica (L.) Del., as alternative source of protein to livestock. This will encourage better management of A. nilotica plants and ensure stability in the availability of the feedstuff for all year round livestock feeding.
  3. Also further study should be carried out to determine possible constituents of Acacia nilotica pods that caused poor growth performance in Galla goats; particularly in the groups that had high nitrogen retention.

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