Banana leaves: a dietary supplement for sheep?

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, D., Nurfeta, A., Banjerjee, S. & Eik, LO. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences

Abstract: 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 +/- 1.6 kg 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), and hay+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.

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

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Published 6. September 2018 - 10:48 - Updated 1. October 2018 - 9:27