EVALUATION OF FORAGE SPECIES COMPOSITION, YIELD AND PREFERENCE TO SOME SELECTED NATIVE PASTURE BY SHEEP IN THE SEMI ARID ZONE, NIGERIA

M G GARBA, U DANIEL, I R MOHAMMAD

Abstract


This research was conducted during Rainy season in the month of July and August, at Federal University Dustin-Ma take off Campus, and the University Livestock Teaching and Research farm, to determine the relative occurrence of Forage species their Yield and Preference by sheep. Primary Data was obtained from experimental site through well-structured procedures, following objectives of the research. Experimental sites were randomly selected at different location on the Take off campus. A 2m x 2m square frame, covered round by wire mesh was mounted at each selected experimental site to stand as replicate. Botanical and relative occurrence of forage species found from July to August were identified and taken. The forage species occurring at the study site were scored and ranked according to abundance nature. Relative yield estimate from experimental site was determined. Preference study was conducted with dominant occurring species in the experimental site with Rams from the University Livestock Teaching and Research farm. The most preferred forage specie and least preferred forage specie were obtained from the study. The study revealed that forage species are more abundant during period of high rainfall than period of lesser rainfall. The study further revealed that grass species have more yield on dry matter basis compared to legume plant species. Conversely, legumes plant species reported to have better preference by the animals. Recommendation was thus made that; more trials should be conducted to determine the yield of forage species during the entire rainy season. Reseeding of some forage crops by local farmers, by incorporating forage cultivation into their cropping activities or already growing forage areas, can help ensure the availability and sustainability of forage species. Awareness should be made for local farmers on the species that are high yielding and most preferred by livestock animals.


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