International Journal of Agriculture Extension and Social Development
2021, Vol. 4, Issue 2, Part B
Effect of feeding Pennisetum giganteum silage to sheep compared to Zea mays silage
Rakotomanana Olga Rachel
The potential of the livestock sector in agriculture is great. The essential basis of ruminant feed is fodder. In the two distinct seasons in Madagascar, the rainy season has a better qualitative and quantitative fodder yield and the dry season whose fodder supply does not cover the animals' needs.
Fodder conservation during the period of abundance is necessary to prevent the period of deficit. Silage in pit silos is expensive for small herds of animals. An improvement of the micro soil manufacturing technique is envisaged. Thus, the elaboration of micro-silo in welded tarpaulin is realized.
The comparison of the effect of silage of Zea mays and Pennisetum giganteum fed to sheep is carried out. The determination of the analytical values of green and ensiled forages is carried out as well as the weight monitoring of sheep.
The chemical compositions of the two forages did not differ significantly except for the lignin content (6.7% DM) of the green Pennisetum, which was higher than that of the green Zea mays (5.5% DM), which was also observed for the ensiled values. However, for the protein content, the opposite is true: 8.3% DM (Pennisetum) compared to 9.3% DM (Zea mays). The energy and PDI values of the two silage species and the rations are equivalent. The Zea mays ration is more ingested than the Pennisetum one as proven by the weight gain (4.1kg vs 3.3kg).
The advantage of Pennisetum fodder lies in its high biomass and its tolerance to climatic changes, always green throughout the year compared to Zea mays. They can be fed to ruminants in both green and silage form and do not compete with human food.