The Effect of Mulberry (Morus spp.) Leaf Meal Supplementation on Feed Intake and Body Weight Change of Indigenous Ethiopian Highland Sheep
An experiment was conducted with the objective of evaluating the effect of dried mulberry leaf supplementation on feed intake and body weight gain of Wollo sheep. Twenty four sheep with average initial body weight of 19.1± 0.9 kg were used for the experiment. Sheep were blocked into six blocks and randomly assigned to the four treatments. Treatments were grass hay only (M0), grass hay ad labitum and dried mulberry leaf at 0.5 % body weight (M0.5), grass hay ad libitum and dried mulberry leaf at 1.5 % body weight (M1.5) and grass hay ad libitum and dried mulberry leaf at 2.5 % body weight (M2.5. The initial and final body weights were not significantly different (p > 0.05) among treatment means. The total body weight change and average daily weight gain were significantly different (p < 0.05) among treatment and was in the order of M1.5 = M2.5>M0.5>M0. Animals fed dried mulberry leaf at 1.5 and 2.5 % body weight had significantly higher (p<0.05) total body weight change and average daily weight gain. Feed conversion efficiency (FCE) among dietary treatments was significant (p < 0.05) and in the order of M1.5>M0.5 > M2.5 >M0.5. In conclusion, the highest increase in final body weight, average daily weight gain and feed conversion efficiency was found at a supplementation rate of 1.5 % body weight. Therefore, dried mulberry leaves can be used as a protein supplement to poor quality roughage feeds under smallholder farmers’ conditions.
Keywords:Crude protein, Dry matter, Feed conversion efficiency
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