Feed Resources and Seasonal Nutrient Composition of Predominant Forages for Small Ruminant Production in Iwo Local Government Area of Osun state, Nigeria

Type Journal Article - Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare
Title Feed Resources and Seasonal Nutrient Composition of Predominant Forages for Small Ruminant Production in Iwo Local Government Area of Osun state, Nigeria
Volume 3
Issue 17
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 15-24
URL http://pakacademicsearch.com/pdf-files/agr/524/15-24 Vol 3, No 17 (2013).pdf
Small ruminant production is largely in the hand of traditional handlers settled in rural areas. Iwo Local
Government Area is well noted for small ruminant production. However, there is paucity of information on the
feed resources availability in quality and quantity at varying seasons for small ruminant production in the study
area. Hence, two studies were conducted in study area to investigate the feed resources utilized by handlers at
different seasons and evaluate the nutrient composition of predominant forages available for sheep and goat
production in the area. Study I: Information on herd size and composition, feeds, feeding method, water supply
and housing for small ruminant production were elicited using structured questionnaire. Study II: Samples of
predominant forages in the area were collected once per season and analysed for the nutrient composition using
standard procedures.
It was found that the male respondents reared sheep especially ram than goat while the females took to goat
particularly doe (female goat). Small ruminants in the area grazed on natural grasslands, most farmers supplied
water (87.2%) from well (76.4%) to their small ruminants but provided no housing facilities (92.0%). The
occasional feed offered to sheep and goats in wet season was mainly kitchen wastes (46.2%) while in dry season,
kitchen wastes (25.7%), cassava and its by-products (25.7%) as well as corn gluten (25.1%).
The predominant grass, legumes and shrubs/forbs that were available in wet season were absent in dry season.
However, the browse plants were found to be ever-green and available all year round in the study area. The
proximate composition in wet season showed that, dry matter ranged from 57.8% in Tephrosia bracteolata to
85.7% in Ficus thonningii while the crude protein ranged from 6.20% (Andropogon gayanus) to 23.6% (Ficus
vogelli). The crude fibre contents of the forages ranged from 18.5% in Ficus polita to 47.8% in Tephrosia
bracteolata while ether extract was from 7.50% to 18.4% in Andropogon gayanus and Ficus polita respectively.
Ash content ranged between 7.10% and 17.1% in Andropogon gayanus and Ficus exasperata respectively. There
were significant differences in all the measured parameters among the forages. The observed values for
proximate composition of the browses obtained in dry season were similar to the results seen in wet season
except for the fact that crude fibre and ash contents increased a little and crude protein and ether extract reduced
especially for ficus species under consideration. In conclusion, farmers in the study area should improve on some
of their production facilities like housing and feeding. Also, there is need for continual supplementation of feed
supplied to small ruminants in dry season to augment the insufficient nutrients.

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