Effect of maize stover ensiled with varying levels of sugar cane as additive on the performance of West African dwarf (Wad) goats
This study determined the chemical composition and volatile fatty acids profile of the maize residue ensiled with sugarcane as additive and assessed the growth performance and nitrogen utilization of West African Dwarf (WAD) goats fed maize residue ensiled with sugarcane as additive. This was in a view to determining the nutritional value of maize residue ensiled with sugarcane as additive. Animal performance of the ensiled maize stovers were investigated using 24 growing West African dwarf (WAD) goats allotted to four treatment diets (0, 10, 20 and 30% sugar cane inclusion level as Diets 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively) in a Completely randomized design with six goats per replicate. Feeding of the silage was done at 3% body weight of the animals with a concentrate supplement at 2% body weight. Feeding trial lasted 84 days and growth related parameters, such as Feed intake, Daily weight gain and Digestibility were measured. All data generated were subjected to Analysis of Variance of SAS package (2001) and significant differences between means were compared using the Duncan Multiple Range test (DMRT) of the same package. The volatile fatty acid of the ensiled maize stover recorded Acetic acid predominating and there was no significant difference across the treatments in acetic acid and butyric acid. The propionic acid content varied significantly across the treatment with diet 4 (1652.70)being the highest and diet 3 (1104.51) being the lowest while lactic acid showed significant difference across the treatments, ranging from diet 4 (1906.70) to diet 2 (2152.41).The proximate composition of the diet was significantly different. Diet 2 had the highest (p< 0.05) crude protein content (18.37%) and Diet 1 has the lowest (14.87) value. Diet 3 has the highest dry matter value (84.20) with Diet 4 (82.67) being the lowest. The crude fiber ranged from 25.85 in Diet 2 to 23.45 in Diet 4. Ether extract has its highest value in diet 2 with 25.85 and lowest value in diet 3 with 0.75 Ash value ranged from 8.56 in diet 4 to 6.39 in diet 2. The diet with 10% sugar cane inclusion level had the highest crude protein, crude fiber and ether extractAverage daily feed intake was significantly different (p< 0.05) across the treatments, ranging from 389.8 g/day in Diet 4 to 408.6 g/day in Diet 3. Diet 2 and 3 showed good acceptability and palatability compared to other diets. Total weight gain and Average daily gain of the WAD goats were not significantly different across the various treatments (P > 0.05). The nitrogen balance of goats fed diet 2 and 3 were not significantly different. Likewise, values for goats fed on diet 1 and diet 4 were not significantly different. The trend for nitrogen utilization followed the same pattern as for nitrogen balance. The result indicated that nitrogen was well utilized in Diets 2 and Diet 3 compared to Diet 1 and Diet 4. From the result obtained from the study it can be concluded that;maize stover ensiled with sugar cane is capable of supporting the growth of WAD goats without any deleterious effect. Goats fed with ensiled Maize stover with sugar cane at 10% (DIET 2) and 20% (DIET 3) inclusion levels utilized nitrogen better than those on 0% (DIET 1) and 30% (DIET 4) inclusion levels. Goats fed with ensiled Maize stover with sugar cane at 20% (DIET 3) inclusion levels digested the feed better than other diets.