Dried Acacia saligna (Labil) H.L. Wendi. leaves and wheat bran as alternative supplemental feed for sheep fattening in Tigray, northern Ethiopia
Keywords:Browse tree, Industrial byproduct, On-farm trial, Weight change
A study was conducted to evaluate the best supplementary practice of dried A. saligna leaves on growth performance of rams and its economic importance. It was carried out at Atsbi-Wemberta, Wukro Kilte-Awlaelo and Saesie-TsaedaEmba districts of Tigray. In each district, one peasant association (PA) was selected except two PAs in Atsbi-Wemberta. A total of 120 farmers who have their own intact male sheep (two from each) were participated in the on-farm research. Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) was applied. Farmers consider as a block and rams in each farmer randomly assigned to each treatment. Two treatments were used; farmer's practice (CTL) and farmers practice + 200 g/d dried A. saligna leaves + 200 g/d wheat bran (AS-WB). Average daily live weight gain (ADLWG) of rams fed on AS-WB was 50 %higher than the CTL group. A higher ADLWG (86.8 g/d) of rams were achieved at Abrha-Atsbeha followed by 70.3 g/d at Hayelom, while rams in Mariam-Agamet and Barka-Adi-Sibuh were exhibited a weight gain of 46.1 and 35.5 g/d, respectively. Hence, supplementation of highland rams with dried AS-WB is economically important for smallholder farmers than free grazing.
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