Influence of Goat Manure Application on Biomass Yield and Nutritive Value of Irrigated Brachiaria ruziziensis as Dry Season Forage for Goat Production.

PG Number: PG13/0789
Year of Admission: 2014/2015 Session
Programme: Livestock Science and Sustainable Environment
Degree Awarded: M Ag SE
Date of defence: 14th June 2017



Shortage of forage during the dry season has remained a major challenge for improved ruminant production in Nigeria. This study investigated a sustainable way of reducing dry season shortage of forage for goat production and two experiments were designed to achieve this objective. The first experiment which lasted for 90 days assessed the biomass yield and nutritive value of irrigated Brachiaria ruziziensis as influenced by different rates of decomposed goat manure application. The treatments were five application rates of goat manure (i.e. 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 t/ha DM) arranged in a Randomized Complete Block Design with four replicates per treatment. The plots were irrigated using sprinkler method at 3 days interval with water sourced from the well on the farm. The grass was cut-back to 15 cm stubble height at the commencement of the study after which two consecutive cuts were made at 45 days intervals. Samples from the treatments were stored for 3 months from which aliquots were taken monthly for 3 months from the stored sample for necessary laboratory analyses. Data obtained were subjected to two way Analysis of Variance. The second experiment evaluated the effects of the B. ruziziensis on the growth performance of KalaWAD bucks. Fifteen (15) healthy KalaWAD bucks aged of 1-1½ years with an average weight of 21.62kg were randomly allotted to five dietary treatments of B. ruziziensis hay fertilized with 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 t/ha goat manure i.e. BRF0, BRF5, BRF10, BRF15, and BRF20 respectively in a Completely Randomized Design. The bucks were housed in individual wooden cage. The feeding trial lasted for 21 days after 7 days of adjustment. The last 7 days of the feeding trial were used for nutrient digestibility study. Data obtained were subjected to one way Analysis of Variance. Results showed that dry matter yield (DMY) of the grass increased (P < 0.05) from 5.26 t/ha in the first, to 8.16 t/ha in the second cut for plots fertilized with 20 t/ha goat manure. The DMY increased (P < 0.05) with increasing rates of goat manure application. The crude protein (CP) content of B. ruziziensis also increased (P < 0.05) from 7.38 to 12.90% for 0 to 20 t/ha manure application rates. Storage had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on the proximate composition of the grass. Bucks fed BRF15 recorded the higher (P < 0.05) values for weight gain (1.50 kg) and daily weight gain (71.43 g/day) than others. Bucks fed BRF15 recorded higher (P < 0.05) values for all nutrient digestibility parameters determined except for acid detergent lignin. Furthermore, total nitrogen absorption (13.77 g/day) and retention (12.92 g/day) values were significantly higher for bucks fed BRF15. The study concluded that application of 15 t/ha decomposed goat manure enhanced the dry matter yield and crude protein content of B. ruziziensis as well as the weight gain, daily weight gain, nutrient digestibility, nitrogen absorption and nitrogen retention of the kalaWAD bucks fed the grass.


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