Effects of supplementation of Farta sheep fed hay with sole or mixtures of noug seed meal and wheat bran on feed intake, digestibility and body weight change

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Abstract

Digestibility and feeding trials for 10 and 90 days were conducted using 25 yearling Farta rams with a mean body weight (BW) of 16.8 ± 0.17 kg (mean ± SD) to study the effects of supplementation with sole or mixtures of noug seed meal (NSM) and wheat bran (WB) on feed intake, digestibility and BW change in Farta sheep fed hay. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design. The sheep were arranged in five blocks based on initial BW, and the five treatments were assigned randomly to each animal in a block. The five treatments comprised of ad libitum hay (control, T1) and ad libitum hay plus daily supplementation of 300 g dry matter (DM) sole WB (T2), 2WB:1NSM (T3), 1WB:2NSM (T4) and sole NSM (T5). Supplementation increased total DM (P < 0.01) and crude protein (CP) (P < 0.001) intake and promoted daily BW gain (P < 0.001). Non- supplemented sheep consumed more (P < 0.01) hay DM compared to the supplemented treatments, except T2. Among supplemented sheep, T5 had higher (P < 0.001) CP intake than the other treatments. Supplementation improved (P < 0.001) the digestibility of CP. Lack of statistical differences in daily BW gain between the different supplements used in this study suggests that sheep producers can use the different feed supplements considered in this study depending on their availability in the order of T4, T5, T3 and T2, respectively.

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