COMPARATIVE EVALUATION OF BAMBARA NUT WASTE AND DRY BREWERS SPENT GRAIN AS DRY SEASON FEED SUPPLEMENTS FOR WEST AFRICAN DWARF SHEEP
Two feeding trials were conducted to investigate the growth and physiological response of sheep fed forage with and without supplementary bambara nut waste or brewers spent grain. First trial (Experiment I) assesed the effects of dry season supplementation of bambara nut waste or dry brewers spent grain on growth performance and blood metabolites (blood plasma ammonia and blood plasma urea) of West African dwarf sheep, while the Experiment 2 investigated the digestibility coefficients of bambara nut waste and dry brewers spent grain. In experiment 1, nine sheep (six females and three males) were randomly divided into three treatment groups at three sheep per treatment with one sheep serving as a replicate. The first group (control) was allowed to graze only. They were herded out at 08:00hours and brought back at 5:00hours. The second and third groups were given 500g of dry brewers spent grain or bambara nut waste at 8;00hours and at 11:00 hours,, thereafter they grazed for the rest of the day. Feed intake and body weights of the animals were recorded. The animals were allowed a pre-experimenrtal period of 3weeks while the feeding trial itself lasted for ten weeks (December – February). At 3 weeks blood was collected from the animals for 4 days to determine the blood metabolites. In experiment 2, six sheep (four females and two males) were allowed a preliminary period of 14days, followed by7days faecal collection. They were randomly divided into two groups (treatments) of three sheep per treatment with one sheep serving as a replicate. One group was fed dry Brewers spent grain and the other group fed bambara nut waste. Experiment 1 was carried out using a completely randomized design (CRD). The supplement intake for the first experiment, the cost implication of using the two supplements, the proximate composition, nutrient intake for the second experiment and the digestibility coefficients were compared using t-test. In experiment 1 there were no significant (P>0.05) differences between the two supplements in dry matter, ash, ether extract and nitrogen- free extract while significant (P<0.05) differences existed between the two supplements in crude protein, crude fibre and gross energy contents. Sheep on treatments 2 and 3 had similar (P > 0.05) average final body weight, average daily weight gain, average body weight change, blood plasma ammonia concentration, blood plasma urea concentration and cost implication of feeding the two supplements, which were significantly P < 0.05) higher than those of treatment 1while sheep on treatment 3 had higher (P<0.05), feed intake treatment 1,t had the lowest. In experiment 2 results showed that while there were significant (P<0.05) differences between the two supplements in the intake of dry matter, crude protein, ether extract and nitrogen- free extract, there were no significant (P>0.05) differences between the two supplements in apparent dry matter nutrients digestibility coefficients. Based on the results obtained this present study, any of the supplements can be used in dry season feeding of sheep for improved growth performance of sheep.