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The utilisation of Prosopis pods in two different forms by sheep

 

B.R. King. & J.H. Hoon

Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute

Private Bag X 529, Middelburg EC 5900, South Africa

 


Prosopis pods are a valuable feed source for livestock and is normally utilised under natural grazing conditions. In practice, however, Prosopis pods are sometimes grinded, possibly to increase its feeding value and to prevent further invasion of grazing land by Prosopis trees. The objective of this study was therefore to evaluate the feeding value of whole versus milled pods. A growth study was carried out using 16 young Merino x Ronderib Afrikaner lambs which were randomly divided into two groups and received whole and milled pods (12.5 mm screen) respectively. A digestibility study was also carried out on the two forms of Prosopis pods by using eight Dorper wethers which were randomly divided into two groups. All the diets were fed on an ad libitum basis in both studies. The average daily dry matter intake of the sheep in the growth study was 0.98 kg/sheep/day for both groups. There were no differences (P > 0.05) in the average daily gain of the sheep receiving whole pods (117 ± 15.5 g/day) and milled pods (137 ± 15.5 g/day). The digestible crude protein content of whole and milled pods was 6.66 ± 0.45% and 7.34 ± 0.45% respectively (P > 0.05), while the digestible energy content was 12.21 ± 0.50 MJ/kg and 11.86 ± 0.50 MJ/kg respectively (P > 0.05). From the results of this investigation it would appear that there is no increase in feeding value by grinding Prosopis pods.

 

 

Published

SASAT Congress 1997