Presented To

Department of Agricultural Science

In Experiment 1 sixty (60) male Ethiopian Menz sheep of average live weight of 19.00kg (SE 1.42) maintained on maize stover ad libitum were supplemented with either lablab (250g) (LL); cowpea (250g) (CW); blood meal (50g) (BM); lablab (125g)+ cowpea (125g) (LC); lablab (125g)+ blood meal (25g) (LB) or cowpea (125g)+ blood meal (25g) (CB) for a period of 75 days. Voluntary intake, weight gain and changes in rumen environment were studied. Sheep fed blood meal, and blood meal in combination with forages legume consumed significantly more stover (P<0.001) than sheep fed the other supplements. Sheep on blood meal and blood meal in combination with forage legumes had significantly higher (P<0.001) weight gains than those fed the other supplements. Treatments did not differ significantly in the rumen degradation parameters for organic matter and nitrogen, microbial protein yield and rumen digestion kinetics parameters. In Experiment 2, 36 male Ethiopian Menz sheep of average liveweight 19.2 (SE 0.042)kg) fed maize stover were supplemented with urea-molasses block containing one of the following supplements: wheat bran (WB), cottonseed cake (CC), blood meal (BM) or CC + BM (CB) over a period of 75 days. Voluntary intake and changes in the rumen environment were measured. Differences in the stover DM intake were not significant but the supplement intake differed significantly (P<0.05) among treatments. There were significant differences (P<0.01) in the weight gains between treatments. There were no significant differences in purine derivatives and microbial protein yield. Rumen degradation parameters did not differ significantly among the various urea molasses blocks. The use of blood meal increased stover DM intake, weight gains and improved the rumen environment for microbial protein synthesis. It was concluded that blood meal could be used as supplement to poor quality roughages.


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