Full Project – Performance response of feedlot Bunaji Bulls to dietary inclusion of Thaumatococcus Daniellii leaf meal

Full Project – Performance response of feedlot Bunaji Bulls to dietary inclusion of Thaumatococcus Daniellii leaf meal

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1.0                                           INTRODUCTION

In Nigeria, beef cattle are raised largely under the extensive management system. In this system, animals obtain their nutrients mainly from overgrazed range and crop residue (Olayiwole and Olorunju, 1987) which are low in both quality and quantity (Blair, 1963; Kapu, 1975; Umoh and Koch, 1971). Furthermore, the extent to which such range is declining due to increase in land use for crop production, overgrazing, urbanization and population increase is alarming. The summary of reports on range and feed resources inventory (Egunjobi, 1970; Awogbade and Famoriyo, 1982) suggests that under the existing level of grassland management, there is inadequate feed to sustain the present population of cattle. The traditional system of beef production cannot therefore, be expected to meet the present and future beef demand of the country.

The intensive beef production system in the form of feedlot fattening offers a means of increasing edible carcass rapidly as a short term measure. Feedlot operation is not entirely new to Nigeria and several of the earlier fattening trials carried out in the country (Olayiwole and Fulani, 1980; Olayiwole et al., 1981) showed appreciable increase of 30-40% in the liveweight of the indigenous breeds of cattle (Olayiwole et al., 1975). However, the adoption rate of the results of these studies is very low due to the high cost of feed ingredients  used in these studies, making the scheme less profitable and unattractive. There is therefore, the need to continuously search for alternative and cheaper protein and energy sources.

Feed constitutes about 70-80% of the variable cost of fattening cattle (Powel, 1975; Olayiwole et al., 1981). Consequently, any feeding system that will reduce feed cost will ultimately result in reduction of total cost of production and increase profit margin. Thus, the use of non-conventional feedstuffs and crop residues which have little opportunity cost in the other uses on the farm can be substituted for the conventional and very expensive feedstuffs to reduce cost.

The high growth rate of human population resulting in inadequate land available for extensive production systems has led to increased utilization of crop residues and agro-industrial by-products as animal feedstuff. Current research efforts in most developing countries are therefore aimed at identifying potential feed sources that could be cheap, available for compounding livestock ration and have little or no demand by human so as to reduce competition between man and livestock (Ulfina et al., 2013). Some of these potential feed materials that have been investigated include by-products from industries and waste from cattle ranches, abattoir and poultry houses (Alawa and Umunna, 1993; Abdulmalik et al., 1994). Addressing the problem of shortage of animal protein in Nigeria calls for total exploitation of all the ways of increasing the quantity of animal protein to meet the satisfactory level of intake; one of these ways is to increase the production of animals while reducing the cost of feed using agro industrial by-products such as brewers dried grain.

Plants as protein source for animal offer a good scope to meet the increasing protein requirements at large, particularly in a recessive economy as we are presently experiencing in Nigeria. However, before such indigenous feedstuffs can be recommended, their nutritional properties and biochemical value should be thoroughly investigated (Raimi et al., 2011). One of the many underutilized plant in Nigeria is Thaumatococcus daniellii, a non sacchariferous sweet plant which is commonly found throughout the West African rain forest zone.

In Nigeria, the plant grows predominantly in the cocoa growing areas of the South West, where it is called “Ewen Eran” or “Adundunmitan” (Elemo et al., 2001). The arils of the seed contain an intensely sweet protein, thaumatin,  which is about 2000-3000 times the sweetness of an 8 – 10 sucrose solution on a weight basis. Extraction of thaumatin from the arils of Thaumatococcus daniellii leads to the generation of substantial waste, largely made up of the seed and pulp of the fruit and which constitute over 99% of the entire fruit weight (Elemo et al., 2001). Potential application of T. daniellii waste as a raw material in livestock feed formulation was suggested in earlier reports (Elemo et al., 2001). The seed is relatively high in protein, starch and minerals especially calcium and magnesium. Preliminary toxicological studies have indicated the presence of some anti-nutrients, particularly tannis and trypsin inhibitor which could however be inactivated by simple processing methods (Elemo et al., 2001).  This research work was carried out to evaluate the performance response of feedlot Bunaji bulls to dietary inclusion of Thaumatococcus daniellii leaf meal

1.1 Objective

The objective of this study was to determine the performance response of Bunaji bulls to the dietary inclusion of Thaumatococcus daniellii leaf meal


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Full Project – Performance response of feedlot Bunaji Bulls to dietary inclusion of Thaumatococcus Daniellii leaf meal