Weight Gain and Economic Implications of Feeding Uda Rams with Graded Levels of Dietary Mineral Salt (Potash) in Tullun Gwanki Grazing Reserve, Silame Local Government Area, Sokoto State, Nigeria
The study was conducted to examine weight gain and economic implications of feeding Uda rams with graded levels of dietary mineral salt (potash) in Tullun Gwanki Grazing Reserve, Silame Local Government Area, Sokoto State, Nigeria. Tullun Gwanki Grazing Reserve was purposively selected because of the predominance of pastoralists in the area. One hundred respondents were randomly selected from a list of four hundred and fifty pastoralists collected. All the sampled respondents were contacted and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Feeding trial using sixteen growing uda lambs in a randomized complete block design was conducted. A complete diet was formulated and divided into four treatments; treatment A (control) without dietary mineral salt while treatments B, C and D contained potash at 1.25; 2.50 and 3.75kg/100/diet respectively. The animals were fed for the period of nine weeks in which daily records of feed and water intakes and weight gain were kept. Data were were analysed using descriptive statistics, farm budgeting and analysis of variance. Duncan’s New Multiple Range Test (DMRT) was used to separate the means where significant differences exist. The study showed that majority of the farmers (76%0 practiced semi-intensive system of management and most of them (64%) used common salt in feeding uda rams. The average quantity of dietary mineral salt used by the pastoralists in Tullun Gwanki grazing reserve was 2.5kg /100kg/ diet. Result of the experiment showed that treatment D gave the highest average daily gain at a feeding level of 3.75kg/100kg diet. Treatment D also gave the best result interms of cost of feed/kg live weight gain (962.83N/kg) as compared to treatments B and C. Similarly, net farm income obtained from the sale of uda under treatment D was highest. Based on the outcome of the study, it was concluded that, farmers in Tullun Gwanki Grazing Reserve were yet to exploit minerals to the maximum tolerable by uda sheep as they used 2.5kg rather than 3.75kg/100kg diet. Hence, it was recommended that 3.75kg/100kg diet should be used by pastoralists, and animal breeders since it gave the best result in terms of profit and weight gain.
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