Effect of feeding Prosopis juliflora pods and leaves on performance and carcass characteristics of Afar sheep
Kasetsart Journal - Natural Science
Afar Pastoral and Agro-pastoral Research Institute, Afar Region, Samara 16, Ethiopia; Department of Agronomy, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand; Department of Farm Mechanics, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Twenty Afar male sheep with initial mean body weight ± SD of 17.87 ± 1.19 kg were used to evaluate the effect of replacing commercial feed with Prosopis juliflora pods and leaves on growth performance, carcass and meat quality characteristics. Animals were equally divided into four dietary treatment groups for 120 d (Rhode grass hay (RGH), RGH + 300 g ground P. juliflora pods (PJP), RGH + 150 g each ground P. juliflora pods and leaves mix (PJPLM) and RGH + 300 g commercial concentrate mix (CCM) per head per day). Total dry matter and crude protein intakes increased (P < 0.05) in treatments supplemented with ground PJP and CCM. The average weight gain and meat quality parameters obtained by supplementing with 300 g ground PJP were significantly higher than the RGH and PJPLM treatment groups, but were comparable with that of CCM. The present study demonstrated the potential of using PJP for Afar lambs without adverse effects on growth and carcass characteristics. However, the intake of PJP reduced when mixed with leaves and this indicates the leaves are unpalatable.