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Mengistie Taye, 2009. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 21 (12)

Document reference 
Mengistie Taye, 2009. Growth of Washera ram lambs fed on Napier (Pennisetum purpureum) and Sesbania (Sesbania sesban) mixture at different levels of combination. Livest. Res. Rural Dev., 21 (12)
Abstract 

An experiment to evaluate the growth of Washera ram lambs fed on different combinations of fresh Sesbania (Sesbania sesban) and Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) and to determine the appropriate level of combination for maximum growth was conducted at Andassa Livestock Research Center. The treatments were 55N45S (55-45 Napier-Sesbania Mixture), 70N30S (70-30 Napier-Sesbania Mixture), 85N15S (85-15 Napier-Sesbania Mixture), 100N0S (Sole Napier), Grazing + 400 gm concentrate (45:55 ground maize-grass pea grain mixture) and Grazing alone.

Average initial body weight (23.11 kg) was not different between feeding treatment groups. The mean final weight (Kg), total body weight gain (Kg) and average daily weight gain (gm) obtained were 28.28±0.31, 5.17±0.29 and 49.27±2.77, respectively. Final body weight and average daily body weight gain were significantly different (p<0.05) between treatments. The group fed on grazing plus concentrate supplement had better final body weight and average daily body weight gain. Average daily dry matter (DM) intake was calculated only for those groups fed indoor because of the difficulty of determining feed intake in grazing animals. The groups fed on 55N45S and 70N30S Napier-Sesbania mixture had higher daily DM intake while those fed on 85N15S and sole Napier had better feed conversion efficiency.

The results indicated the possibility of increasing sheep production in areas where grazing land is a problem while the production of these forage species is possible. For a fattening practice, these forage feeds should be supplemented with concentrate feed for which the level of supplementation needs to be set. In addition the economics should be seen under the farmer’s condition.

Citation key 
Mengistie Taye, 2009