Intake, Digestibility, Body Weight and Carcass Characteristics of Tigray Sheep Fed Tef Straw Supplemented with Sesame Seed Meal or Wheat Bran and their Mixtures

  • Zemicael Gebreslassie Enda Selassie ATVET College
  • Solomon Melaku Department of Animal Science, Haramaya University


The study was conducted over 90 days feeding and 7 days digestibility trials at Enda Selassie ATVET College to assess the effect of supplementation on feed utilization and carcass characteristics in tef (Eragrostis tef) straw based feeding of Tigray rams. The rams were arranged in a randomized complete block design divided into five blocks based on initial BW. The treatments comprised of ad libitum tef straw (control, T1) and daily supplementation with 300 g dry matter (DM) sole sesame (Sesame indicum) seed meal (SSM, T2), 0.65SSM:0.35 wheat bran (WB, T3), 0.35SSM:0.65WB (T4) and sole WB (T5). Tef straw used in the study contained low (30.6 g kg -1 DM) crude protein (CP) and high (825.8 g kg -1 DM) neutral detergent fiber (NDF) contrary to the supplement feeds. Total daily DM intake and DM intake as a percentage of BW were higher (P < 0.001) for the supplemented rams (701.4-725 g day-1 and 2.57-2.63%) than those fed solely on tef straw (403.1 g day-1 and 1.8%). The CP intake increased (P < 0.001) in the order T2 > T3 > T4 > T5 > T1. Daily BW gain was negative and lower (P < 0.001) in rams fed solely on tef straw (-22 g g day-1) compared to the supplemented ones (50-71.1 g day-1). Out of all supplemented treatments, T5 was lower (P < 0.001) in apparent digestibility of CP and daily BW gain compared to T2, T3 and T4. Hot carcass weight and empty BW were higher (P < 0.001) for T2, T3, T4 compared to T1. Dressing percent on slaughter weight base was higher (P< 0.001) for supplemented (39.5-43.4%) compared to the control treatment (32.9%). Out of all supplements, SSM and its mixtures with WB resulted in better performance of the sheep compared to supplementation with sole WB.

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