African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6849

Full Length Research Paper

Effect of partial substitution of Noug (Guizotia abyssinica) seed cake with graded levels of sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) hay on growth performance and carcass characteristics of yearling rams

Dinku Getu
  • Dinku Getu
  • Worabe Agricultural Research Centre, Worabe P. O. Box 21, Ethiopia.
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Solomon Demeke
  • Solomon Demeke
  • College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Jimma University, Jimma P. O. Box 307, Ethiopia.
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Taye Tolemariam
  • Taye Tolemariam
  • College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Jimma University, Jimma P. O. Box 307, Ethiopia.
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Mesfin Dejene
  • Mesfin Dejene
  • Holeta Research Centre, Holeta, P. O. Box 2003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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  •  Received: 29 March 2024
  •  Accepted: 14 May 2024
  •  Published: 31 May 2024


A feeding trial was conducted using sainfoin hay at 0, 10, 20 and 30% on a dry matter basis of inclusion to yearling rams placed on, T1, T2, T3 and T4, respectively, to substitute Noug seed cake in concentrate (wheat bran + Noug seed cake + common salt + wheat straw as a basal diet). Yearling 24 rums were selected on the basis of age and weight similarity and randomly assigned to the four treatments in RCBD with six replicates. At the end of the 90-day feeding trial, three sheep per treatment were randomly assigned either for the digestibility trial and/or carcass characteristics evaluation. Crude protein (CP) digestibility, daily weight gain, and feed conversion efficiency recorded the highest in T4 and T2. Lower dressing percentage with higher ether extract was recorded in T1. The rib eye muscle CP recorded the highest in T2 and T3.  Lower water-to-protein ratio and higher caloric value were higher in T2 and T3 and T2, respectively. The marginal rate of return was the highest in T4, followed by T2. Therefore, the inclusion of a graded-level of sainfoin hay as a substitute for the expensive Noug seed protein in a tropical poor roughage basal diet seems to be appealing under the current Ethiopian condition.

Key words:  Feed conversion efficiency, Noug seed cake, sainfoin hay, nutrient digestibility, nutrient retention, water to protein ratio, weight gain.