Research note: Inclusion of lablab in maize and sorghum silages improves sheep performance
Animal Science Department, University of Zimbabwe, Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe; Department of Livestock and Pasture Science, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa; Department of Livestock and Wildlife Management, Midlands State University, Gweru, Zimbabwe; Department of Livestock and Pasture Science, University of Fort Hare, P. Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa
An experiment was conducted to determine intake and liveweight gain of sheep fed maize, sorghum, lablab-maize and lablab-sorghum silages (20 and 40% lablab) in a completely randomised design with 6 treatments. The maize and sorghum were mixed with lablab before ensiling and the silages were fed to sheep for 21 days. Silage intake increased with increase in legume inclusion level (P<0.05). Intake of maize-based silages was higher than that of sorghum-based silages. While sheep fed the straight cereal diets lost weight, liveweight change improved as the level of lablab inclusion increased (P<0.05). The findings confirm that legume inclusion with maize and sorghum forages when ensiling improves silage intake and enhances ruminant animal performance. Long-term feeding experiments using a combination of cereals and legumes with different ruminant species are required to validate these preliminary findings.
Animalia; Bovidae; Lablab; Ovis aries; Zea mays