Track 1-08

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Since protein sources such as ground nut cake and soya bean are too expensive to feed as supplements to livestock in India, steps have been taken to reduce cost by utilizing alternative feedstuffs to replace the traditional sources in ration formulation (Parashuramului et al. 2013). Azolla which is a free-floating nitrogen fixing water fern has a potential to be used as a protein supplement for ruminants (Ahirwar and Leela, 2012). Sheanut cake (Vitellaria paradoxa) which is produced after extraction of fats use in cosmetics and as a cocoa butter substitute in chocolate making, is also a rich in carbohydrates and protein, but the presence of anti-nutritional factors (e.g. theobromine and tannins) may limit its use as animal feed supplement (Od-doye et al. 2012). Both Azolla and Sheanut cake have been used as protein and energy supplement for sheep in India (Reddy et al. 2011), but further research is needed to formulate suitable rations for sheep.

The experiments reported here were conducted to assess: (1) The effect of diets based on Azolla (Azolla pinnata) and Sheanut Cake (Vitellaria paradoxa) on growth performance, DMI and nutrient utilization by Nel-lore weaners; (2) The influence of Azolla and Sheanut cake diets on blood biochemical profiles, liver function tests, haemotocrit values and carcass traits of the Nellore wean-ers; and (3) The influence of diets on nutrient utilization of adult sheep. Both intensive and semi-intensive systems were compared in all the experiments.

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Development of Feeding System Based on Azolla (Azolla pinnata) and Sheanut Cake (Vitellaria paradoxa) for Nellore Sheep Reared in Different Production Systems

Since protein sources such as ground nut cake and soya bean are too expensive to feed as supplements to livestock in India, steps have been taken to reduce cost by utilizing alternative feedstuffs to replace the traditional sources in ration formulation (Parashuramului et al. 2013). Azolla which is a free-floating nitrogen fixing water fern has a potential to be used as a protein supplement for ruminants (Ahirwar and Leela, 2012). Sheanut cake (Vitellaria paradoxa) which is produced after extraction of fats use in cosmetics and as a cocoa butter substitute in chocolate making, is also a rich in carbohydrates and protein, but the presence of anti-nutritional factors (e.g. theobromine and tannins) may limit its use as animal feed supplement (Od-doye et al. 2012). Both Azolla and Sheanut cake have been used as protein and energy supplement for sheep in India (Reddy et al. 2011), but further research is needed to formulate suitable rations for sheep.

The experiments reported here were conducted to assess: (1) The effect of diets based on Azolla (Azolla pinnata) and Sheanut Cake (Vitellaria paradoxa) on growth performance, DMI and nutrient utilization by Nel-lore weaners; (2) The influence of Azolla and Sheanut cake diets on blood biochemical profiles, liver function tests, haemotocrit values and carcass traits of the Nellore wean-ers; and (3) The influence of diets on nutrient utilization of adult sheep. Both intensive and semi-intensive systems were compared in all the experiments.