Effect of Feeding Concentrate Diets Containing Graded Levels of Groundnut Haulms on the Performance of Friesian X Bunaji Cattle.


A study was conducted to determine the effect of feeding concentrate diets containing graded levels of groundnut haulms on performance of Friesian x Bunaji cattle. In the first experiment twenty Friesian x Bunaji prepubertal heifers aged 14-16 months weighing 160- 180kg were randomly divided into four groups and the groups were allotted four dietary treatments in a completely randomized design. The dietary treatments consisted of isonitrogenous concentrate mixtures in which groundnut haulms was included at 0, 25, 50 and 75% levels.

The heifers were fed weighed quantity of concentrate mixture ad libitum and Andropogun gayanus (gamba) hay for 112 days. Prior to the commencement of the first experiment, a digestibility trial and nitrogen balance was carried out using sixteen bulls aged 12-18 months. The result showed that the digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, crude protein, crude fibre, ether extract, Neutral detergent fibre and Acid detergent fibre were significantly (P<0.05) higher in diets with 75% level of groundnut haulms.

Increasing groundnut haulms level in concentrate diet up to 75% significantly (P<0.05) depressed both dry matter intake and gain of heifers. The result also showed that dry matter intake (DMI) was not significantly different (P>0.05) between heifers fed diet with 0, 25 and 50% groundnut haulms, but declined significantly (P<0.05) when groundnut haulms level reached 75%. The body weight and average daily gain of heifers fed concentrate diets containing 0 and 25% groundnut haulms were not significantly different (P>0.05); although they were higher (P<0.05) than for those in 50 and 75% groundnut levels. 


Livestock play a significant role in Nigeriaits agriculture, contributing about 12.7% of the total agricultural Gross Domestic Products (GDP). According to Cental Bank of Nigeria (1999), cattle are found throughout Nigeria, but are most common in the northern two-thirds of the country, with almost half of the total cattle population permanently resident in the sub humid zone. Cattle in Nigeria are numerous and provide substantial quantities of animal protein in the form of meat and milk, in addition to role they play in influencing the ecosystem.

Their production is based on an age-old husbandry system which needs to be gradually upgraded in order to meet the needs of ever increasing human populace. The unorganised dairy industry in Nigeria, still represents an important component of the animal subsector of the economy with great economic, nutritional and social implication. It provides a means of livelihood for a significant proportion of rural pastoral farmers.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (1988) reported that 183 thousand rural households derived income from the dairy industry in 1986; with 96% of all cattle in Nigeria in the hands of the pastoral Fulanis, who are the most important suppliers of domestic milk. Although, a few private commercial and experimental dairy farms exist as organised dairy farms, they produce an insignificant proportion of the domestic milk (Yahuza, 2001). Dairy cattle consume a lot of feed to remain productive, most especially during growth and early part of lactation.

However, the marked seasonal fluctuations in feed supply and pasture quality experienced by dairy cattle in the tropics result in a seasonal 28 pattern of milk yield and other performances such as liveweight and reproduction. Cereal crop residues such as sorghum, maize and millet stovers and rice straws are produced in large quantities annually and are often used as a low cost forage option for ruminant nutrition in Nigeria. 


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