PERFORMANCE OF ONE-HUMPED CAMEL (Camelus dromedarius) FED VARYING LEVELS OF DRIED GAWO LEAVES (Faidherbia albida) IN THE NORTHERN GUINEA SAVANNAH OF NIGERIA

187

ABSTRACT

This study was carried out to evaluate the growth performance and nutrient digestibility of

dromedary camel fed diets containing varying levels of dried Faidherbia albida (F. Albida)

leaves. Four male camels weighing on average 228.51kg were randomly allocated to 4 diets

containing 0, 10, 20 and 30% dried F. Albida leaves in a 4×4 Latin Square Design. The

results obtained showed that there were significant (P<0.05) effect of diets on the camels.

The final weight of camels fed diets containing 20 and 30% levels of inclusion of dried F.

Albida leaves were at par (255 vs 252kg). However, the total weight gain, average daily

weight gain (ADWG) and feed conversion ratio were significantly higher (P<0.05) in

camels fed 20% inclusion level of dried F. albida leaves compared with other diets. Dry

matter intake and nitrogen free extract were significantly higher (P<0.05) in camels fed 20

and 30% levels of inclusion of dried F. albida leaves. The crude protein digestibility was

higher (P<0.05) in camels fed 20% levels of dried F. albida leaves. However, the nitrogen

retention of the camels was 22% higher (P<0.05) in the control diet than those fed diet

containing 30% inclusion level of dried F. albida leaves. Total protein, albumin and

creatinine levels were higher (P<0.05) in camels fed 20% inclusion levels of dried F. albida

leaves. However, glucose and sodium levels were at par (P<0.05) between the control

treatment and camels fed 20% dried F. albida leaves. Camels fed 30% inclusion level of

dried F. albida leaves had higher (P<0.05) values of blood parameters except in

lymphocytes and basophils. All blood and biochemical parameters are within the normal

range. Water retention per day was significantly higher (P<0.05) in camels fed diets

containing dried F. albida leaves compared to the control. In conclusion, dried F. albida

leaves can be included in the diets of camels up to 30% without detrimental effect on growth

performance and health of camels in the northern guinea savannah of Nigeria.

______________________________________