Effects of feeding different proportions of silver leaf desmodium (Desmodium uncinatum) with banana (Musa paradisiaca) leaf on nutrient utilization in Horro sheep fed a basal diet of natural grass hay

  • Chali, Diriba (College of Agriculture, Hawassa University) ;
  • Nurfeta, Ajebu (College of Agriculture, Hawassa University) ;
  • Banerjee, Sandip (College of Agriculture, Hawassa University) ;
  • Eik, Lars Olav (Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
  • Received : 2017.11.10
  • Accepted : 2018.02.05
  • Published : 2018.09.01


Objective: The objective was to evaluate feed intake, digestibility, body weight change and carcass characteristics of sheep fed a basal diet of hay supplemented with banana leaves and silver leaf desmodium. Methods: Thirty yearling lambs with an average initial body weight of $15.85{\pm}1.6kg$ were grouped into six blocks of five rams in each block. The treatments were: hay alone (T1), hay+100% banana leaf (T2), hay+67% banana leaf+33% desmodium leaf (T3), hay+33% banana leaf+67% desmodium leaf (T4), andhay+100% desmodium leaf (T5). Three hundred grams of treatment diets were offered daily on as fed basis. The feeding and digestibility trials lasted for 84 and 7 days, respectively, followed by carcass evaluation. Results: The total dry matter (DM) intake for T3, T4, and T5 were greater (p<0.05) than those fed T1 and T2 diets. The lowest (p<0.05) organic matter (OM) intake was recorded in rams reared on T1 diet. The total crude protein (CP) intake was in the following order: T5>T4>T3>T2>T1. Ram lambs receiving supplementary diets had higher (p<0.05) DM, OM, CP, neutral detergent fiber and acid detergent fiber digestibility compared with the control diet. The empty body weight and slaughter weight was highest (p<0.05) in rams receiving T3, T4, and T5 diets. The average daily gain and feed conversion efficiency was highest (p<0.05) in rams receiving the supplementary diets. The dressing percentage on the basis of hot carcass weight linearly increased with increasing levels of desmodium. Rams reared on supplementary diet had higher (p<0.05) rib eye area compared with the control diet. Conclusion: In conclusion, when banana leaf is used as a supplement to poor quality grass, better body weight gain was obtained when fed in combination with desmodium.


Banana Leaf;Body Weight Gain;Feed Intake;Horro Sheep;Silver Leaf Desmodium


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