Performance of Local Thin Tailed Sheep Fed Sweet Potato (Ipomoea babatas L) Biomass as A Substitute for Concentrate Feed
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ABSTRACT This experiment aimed to analyze the potency of sweet potato biomass as a local feed resource for substituting concentrate feed in supporting the performance of local thin tailed sheep. The experimental design was completely randomized block design (3 x 3) using 9 sheep of 9-12 months old with average body weight of 14.34 ± 1.32 kg. They were placed in individual metabolic cage provided with buckets for feed and drinking water. Feeding level was 3.5% of their body weight on dry matter basis and given at 0630 and 1600. Drinking water was provided ad libitum. The treatments were T1 (70% Napier grass + 30% concentrate), T2 (50% Napier grass + 50% sweet potato veins), and T3 (70% sweet potato veins + 30% sweet potato tubers). Parameters measured were feed/nutrients intake, feed digestibility, body weight gain, and feed efficiency. Data were analyzed using analysis of variance and any significance different results were further tested using Duncan’s multiple range test. The results showed that feed intake, feed digestibility, body weight gain and feed efficiency were significantly affected by the treatment (P<0.05). Daily gain and feed efficiency of sheep in T1 group (70% Napier grass + 30% concentrate) were not significantly different (P<0.05) from those in T3 (70% sweet potato veins + 30% sweet potato tubers). Sweet potato biomass, a local cheap feed, can be used as a substitute for expensive concentrate feed.