Relative palatability and preference by red Maasai sheep offered brachiaria and Rhodes grass hay supplemented with calliandra leaves in Kenya
Author(s): RS Kenana, PA Onjoro and MK Ambula
Abstract: A study was conducted to evaluate the effect on palatability and preference of supplementing Brachiaria (Brachiaria ruziziensis) hay and Rhodes (Chloris gayana) hay with different levels of Calliandra (Calliandra calothyrsus) leaves on Red Maasai Sheep. Nine male sheep averaging one year and weighing (22.0 ± 2.5 kg) were used in a 3x4 factorial completely randomized design (CRD). Three animals in three replicates, were used to measure feed intake and palatability. Twelve experimental diets were formulated consisting of Brachiaria, Rhodes and a (50:50 mix) of Brachiaria and Rhodes grass hay as the basal diets, supplemented with (0%, 10%, 20% and 30%) of Calliandra leaves. Supplemental rates were used as treatments (T1, T2, T3 and T4) respectively. Treatment one (T1) served as the control. 200g of each diet was offered daily at 8:00am (East African time) with an allowance of 60 minutes feeding time. Results showed that supplementation improved (p<0.05) crude protein, average daily intake and palatability of the experimental diets. Brachiaria grass supplemented with 30% Calliandra emerged the most preferred with a dry matter intake (113.9 g/kg-1 DM) and palatability index of (RPI=100%). The relative palatability indices according to treatments were as follows: (T4>T3>T2>T1). The study concluded that Brachiaria grass supplemented with 30% Calliandra has a great potential as a forage diet for ruminants in the arid and semi-arid lands.
How to cite this article:
RS Kenana, PA Onjoro, MK Ambula. Relative palatability and preference by red Maasai sheep offered brachiaria and Rhodes grass hay supplemented with calliandra leaves in Kenya. Int J Vet Sci Anim Husbandry 2020;5(5):18-22.