Growth and reproductive performance of West African Dwarf sheep fed endophyte-infected maize stover supplemented with soybean meal
Livestock Research for Rural Development
Animal Physiology Laboratory, Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria; Department of Environmental Biology and Fisheries, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Akoko, Nigeria; Department of Animal Production and Health, Universi
An experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of feeding endophyte-infected maize stover on growth and reproductive parameters of West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep. In a six weeks feeding trial, twenty-one individually caged growing WAD sheep were randomly allotted to three dietary treatments in a Randomized Complete Block Design. Treatment 1 (NF = control) consisted of diet with healthy maize stover without Fusarium inoculation while treatments 2 and 3 consisted of diets with slight (SF) and high (HF) Fusarium-infected maize stover respectively. The mean daily dry matter intake was significantly (P<0.05) higher in animals fed the control diet when compared with animals fed the test diets. The mean daily weight gain of the animals fed diet HF was significantly (P<0.05) lower. The feed conversion ratio revealed that it will take 3.76 kg of the highly-infected stover (HF) to produce the same unit weight of meat that was produced by 2.12 kg of healthy maize stover (NF). The mean relative kidney weight tended to decline with an increase in the level of Fusarium infection. The reproductive parameters examined were not significantly different among the treatments. The results suggest that ingestion of Fusarium-infected maize stover by sheep for a short time will depress dry matter intake and weight gain without adverse effect on the organ traits and reproductive potential.
Animalia; Fusarium; Glycine max; Ovis aries; Zea mays