Effect of sex on feed intake, growth and nutrients digestibility in Blackhead sheep fed complete mash rations of crop residues
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Department of Animal Science, School of Agricultural Sciences, University of Zambia, Great East Road Campus, Lusaka, Zambia
Publication date: 1997-02-06
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 1997;6(1):71-79
Three complete mash rations formulated with crop residues: groundnut shell (GNS), sunflower heads (SFH) and citrus pulp waste (CPW) were tested using 18, 10-month-old Blackhead sheep (9 ram lambs and 9 ewe lambs) of initial body weight 16.9 ± 0.59 kg in a 2 x 3 factorial randomized complete design. The three rations contained about 13% CP and the parameters tested were feed intake, growth and nutrients digestibility. Sex had no effect (P>0.05) on feed intake of the sheep in any of the rations offered. Final average body weight among sheep in the three rations were not significantly (P>0.05) different from each other, however, within treatments sex had an effect (P<0.05) on final average body weight. Ram lambs had higher (P<0.05) final average body weight than ewes. This was also the case in average daily live weight gains. Among the three rations, rams and ewes on the CPW ration had better (P<0.05) growth rates than those on GNS and SFH. Feed efficiency (kg DMI/kg live weight gain) followed the pattern of growth rate. Nutrients were better (P<0.05) digested by ram lambs than by ewe lambs of the three rations offered. Nutrients digestion was, however, better (P<0.05) in ram and ewe lambs fed the CPW ration.
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