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Performance of pregnant West African Dwarf ewes fed diets supplemented with varying levels of fossil shell flour

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  10th International Livestock Environment Symposium (ILES X)  .(doi:10.13031/iles.18-158)
Authors:   Chibuisi Henry Emeruwa, Ngozi Felicia Anurudu
Keywords:   Fossil shell flour, performance and West African Dwarf ewes.

Abstract. The aim of the research is to study the effect of the inclusion of different levels of fossil shell flour (FFS) on the performance of pregnant West African Dwarf (WAD) ewes. Synchronized sixteen primiparous WAD ewes (31.5±1.60 kg) mated with proven rams were randomly allotted to four treatments that included 0% FSF (T1), 2% FSF (T2), 4% FSF (T3) and 6% FSF (T4). Dams and their lambs were weighed weekly for 13 weeks. Gestation Length (GL, days), Dry Matter Intake (DMI, g/day), Weight Change During Lactation (WCDL, kg) as well as Lamb Weaning Weight (LWW, kg), Pre-Weaning Mortality (PWM, %) and Twin Survival Rate (TSR, %) were monitored. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA at α0.05. The GL ranged from 148.50±0.13 (T1) to 152.72±0.21 (T4), while the DMI for the ewes on T2 (893.29±0.14) was significantly higher than those on T3 (860.74±0.17) however, T3 (860.74±0.17) and T4 (866.63±0.12) were not significantly different. The WCDL significantly decreased for ewes on T4 (-2.75±0.16) than those on T1 (-1.09±0.13), T2 (-0.75±0.12) and T3 (-1.50±0.15) however, T1 (-1.09±0.13) and T2 (-0.75±0.12) were not significantly different. The LWW ranged from 8.10±0.12 (T4) to 9.23±0.18 (T3) while PWM ranged from 20±0.1 (T4) to 33.3±0.2 (T1) and TSR from 50±0.18 (T4) to 100±1.05 (T2 and T3). Therefore, inclusion of 2.0% fossil shell flour in the diets of West African dwarf ewes improved dry matter intake, reduced weight loss during lactation and encouraged the survivability of twinning.

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