Digestibility and Carcass Characteristics of West African Dwarf Goats fed Pleurotus tuber regium Biodegraded Ground Nut Shells Included Diets
A total of twenty (20) West African Dwarf (WAD) bucks having an average weight of 6.5 kg were used to study their nutrient digestibility and carcass characteristics. The animals were allotted to five treatment group four animals each randomly. The treatment diets contained varying levels of un-degraded ground nutshells (UGNS) and Pleurotus tuber regium biodegraded Ground Nut Shells (PT-GNS) in a Completely Randomized Design (T1=100% UGN; T2=75% UGN+25% PT-GNS; T3=50% UGN+50% PT-GNS; T4=25% UGN+75% PT-GNS; and T5=100% PT-GNS). Each animal served as a replicate. Feed and water were provided ad libitum. The experiment lasts for 84th day of feeding trial. Data on nutrient digestibility and carcass characteristics were taken and subjected to one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and where significant differences occurred, means were separated using Duncan’s Multiple Range Tests (DMRT). The results showed that nutrient digestibility had no significance (p>0.05) difference among the treatment diets, although the digestibility coefficient of Dry Matter (DM) was high, the observed values ranging from 92.10% (T1) to 93.21% (T5). Bucks in T5 had the highest digestibility coefficient of crude protein (93.41) while bucks in T1 had the least values. The carcass characteristics showed a significant difference (p<0.05) among the treatments for carcass yield, carcass weight, and dressing percent increased as the percent substitution of Un-degraded Ground Nut Shells (UGNs) with Pleurotus tuber-Groundnut Shell (PT-GNS) increased from 0 to 100%. Wholesale cuts also showed significant difference (p<0.05) among treatments. Thus, Pleurotus tuber can be used to improve the low-quality farm by-product such as groundnut shell to increases animal protein production.