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Replacing cottonseed meal with ground Prosopis juliflora pods; effect on intake, weight gain and carcass parameters of Afar sheep fed pasture hay basal diet

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The experiment was conducted to determine the supplementary feeding value of ground Prosopis juliflora pod (Pjp) and cottonseed meal (CSM) and their mixtures on feed intake, body weight gain and carcass parameters of Afar sheep fed a basal diet of pasture hay. Twenty-five yearling fat-tailed Afar rams with mean initial live weight 17.24 ± 1.76 kg (mean ± SD) were used in a randomized complete block design. Animals were blocked on their initial body weight. The experiment was conducted for 12 weeks and carcass evaluation followed. Treatments were hay alone ad libitum (T 1) or with 300 g CSM (T 2), 300 g Pjp (T 5), 2:1 ratio (T 3) and 1:2 ratio of CSM : Pjp (T 4). The CP contents of the hay, CSM and Pjp were 10.5, 44.5 and 16.7 %, respectively. Hay DM intake was higher (P < 0.05) for non-supplemented and total DM intake was lower in non-supplemented. Average daily weight gain (ADG) was lower (P < 0.05) for T 1 compared to all supplemented treatments except T 5. Hot carcass weight and rib-eye muscle area also followed the same trend like that of ADG. Compared with feeding hay alone, supplementing with CSM or a mixture of CSM and Pjp appeared to be a better feeding strategy, biologically, for yearling Afar rams.

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  1. 1.

    A feeding system, where animals are given unlimited access to hay

  2. 2.

    Crushed pods



Body weight


Crude protein


Dry matter


Cottonseed meal


Prosopis juliflora pod


Average daily weight gain


Feed conversion ratio


Dressing percentage


Slaughter weight


Empty body weight


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The authors would like to thank Rural Capacity Building Project (RCBP) for financing this research fund, Afar Pastoral and Agro Pastoral Research Institute (APARI) for giving paid leave of absence during my study and Werer Agricultural Research Center Livestock research technical supporting team for their endeavour in technical support, management of the experimental animals and data collection.

Conflict of interest

I declare that this article journal is the result of my own work and has not been submitted to any other publisher organization. Finally, the authors would like to declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Mohammed Yasin.

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Yasin, M., Animut, G. Replacing cottonseed meal with ground Prosopis juliflora pods; effect on intake, weight gain and carcass parameters of Afar sheep fed pasture hay basal diet. Trop Anim Health Prod 46, 1079–1085 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-014-0615-4

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  • Carcass
  • Cottonseed meal
  • Intake
  • Prosopis juliflora
  • Weight gain
  • Afar sheep