Effects of cassava peel mash on chemical composition, nutrient intake, and rumen environment parameters of West African dwarf rams supplemented with dried Ficus thonningii foliage
The study evaluated effects of feeding cassava peel mash (CPM) supplemented with dried foliage of Ficus thonningii (DFF) on the performance of rams. Twenty rams were allotted to four dietary treatments (ad libitum CPM+2 per cent urea (control), ad libitum CPM supplemented with DFF at 0.6, 1.2 and 1.8 per cent of body weight respectively) for 90 days. From the results, crude protein content ranged from 1.99 per cent in CPM to 10.35 per cent in CPM+2 per cent urea. The total dry-matter intake ranged from 247.94 g.d−1 for rams fed with CPM+2 per cent urea to 377.00 g.d−1 for rams supplemented with DFF at 1.8 per cent BW. Higher (P < 0.05) rumen ammonia nitrogen was obtained in animals fed diets containing CPM+2 per cent urea. As the supplementation of DFF increased, total volatile fatty acids concentration as well as microbial contents increased (P < 0.05). In conclusion, supplementation of basal diet of cassava peel mash with dried Ficus thonningii foliage up to 1.8 per cent of body weight of rams is recommended for improved animal performance.