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Articles by U.J. Ikhatua
Total Records ( 3 ) for U.J. Ikhatua
  M.A. Bamikole , U.J. Ikhatua and A.E. Osemwenkhae
  The feasibility of using Chromolaena odorata leaf meal (COLM) in the feed of rabbit was investigated in a study that lasted for twelve weeks. Chromolaena odorata leaves were harvested, dried, crumbled and incorporated into five iso-nitrogenous and iso-calorific diets at 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40% levels of inclusion. Feed intake, weight gain and digestibility of the rabbits were monitored using a completely randomized design. Results showed that DM intake (g/d) of 41.42, 32.86, 32.66, 24.65 and 26.72 for 0 (control), 10, 20, 30, and 40% COLM diets respectively were not significantly different among diets that contained COLM, while only those of 10 and 20% COLM diets compared favourably with that of the control diet. Weight gain (g/d) of the rabbits were not significantly different in the control (7.73), 10% (6.30), 20% (6.64) and 30% (4.12) COLM diets, while the least weight gain (3.0g/d) from 40% COLM diet did not show any significant difference from those of other COLM diets. Feed conversion efficiency of the rabbits were found similar in all the diets (range = 0.11 in 40% to 0.19 in 0% COLM). Digestibility values were generally good, and were not significantly affected by diets in DM (58.57 - 74.00%) and NFE (74.77 - 81.94%) digestibilities. It is concluded that COLM can be incorporated into the feed of rabbits up to the level of 30% of the DM fed and still obtain good performance especially weight gain comparable to those fed on standard concentrate.
  M.A. Bamikole , M.I. Ikhatua , U.J. Ikhatua and I.V. Ezenwa
  The potential of mulberry leaves in rabbit production was investigated in a 12-week long experiment where feed intake, weight gain and nutrient digestibility of the rabbits were monitored. Thirty weaner rabbits (19 females and 11 males; mean weight = 450 ± 0.05 g) of mixed breeds were sorted by weight and randomly allocated to five experimental diets. The percentage of concentrate in the rations was incrementally replaced with mulberry leaves: 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75, 0:100 and were fed in a completely randomized design. Total dry matter (DM) intake of the concentrate: mulberry diet remained at the level of that of the all-concentrate ration (~38 g/d) until mulberry leaves comprised >50% of the ration before it declined significantly. The intakes of crude protein (CP) and crude fiber (CF) increased significantly while those of ether extract (EE), ash and nitrogen free extract (NFE) decreased significantly with increasing level of mulberry leaves in the diets, following the trends of the concentrations of the nutrients in the materials. The nutrient digestibilities of the diets were high and there were no significant differences among the means for DM (75.67 - 82.33%), organic matter (OM: 77.33 - 86.67%), CP (76.33 - 84.00%), CF (79.67 - 88.67%), and ash (52.00 - 62.67%). Digestibility of EE (55.65 - 86.00%) and NFE (76.00 - 87.33%) significantly declined with increasing level of mulberry leaves in the rations. Weight gain of rabbits on diets containing 25 and 50% mulberry leaves (5.14 and 4.72 g/d, respectively) was not significantly different (P=0.05) from that of the all-concentrate ration (5.72 g/d), but these were significantly higher than those of 25:75 and 0:100 concentrate: mulberry diets (3.43 and 2.27 g/d, respectively). Thus, mulberry leaves can support good feed intake, digestibility and satisfactory weight gain in rabbits, and could reduce reliance on and cost of expensive concentrate diets. However, some level of concentrate feeding is necessary to reach potential weight gains.
  I. Ikhimioya , O.A. Isah , U.J. Ikhatua and M.A. Bamikole
  Degradability characteristics of dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) in four tree leaves and four crop residues were evaluated in this study using the nylon bag technique with three cannulated rams. The results revealed significant variations between the leaves and residues in terms of DM and CP degradability characteristics. The potential degradability of DM ranged from 65.94 to 96.69% in the leaves and 51.28 to 73.77% in the residues whereas DM disappearance after 48 hrs of incubation was from 43.27 to 73.50% and 34.03 to 54.27% respectively. Effective degradability (ED) of DM decreased with increase in outflow rates ranging from a low of 35.88% (k=0.05) to 72.67% (k=0.02) in the leaves and 26.59% (k=0.05) to 54.60% (k=0.02) in the residues. Potentially the degradability of CP in the leaves was between 22.41 and 57.38% and 22.87 and 57.19% in the residues. The least ED (k=0.05) of CP was 14.11% while the highest was 48.01% (k=0.02) in the leaves whereas the residues had a range between 13.20% (k=0.05) and 46.70% (k=0.02). Crude protein disappearance post-incubation for 48 hrs ranged between 17.63 and 53.81% and 14.34 and 53.07% in the leaves and residues respectively. The findings of this study showed that the DM compared with CP in the leaves and residues was more degradable in the rumen with the leaves better in this same regard. The information thus provided by this study could be useful in the planning of ruminant diets particularly in the dry season of the tropics.
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