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Animal Products
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1999;12(2): 209-214.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1999.209    Published online March 1, 1999.
Sheep-Oil Palm Integration : Grazing Preference, Nutritive Value, Dry Matter Intake Estimation and Digestibility of Herbage
C. Wattanachant, I. Dahlan, A. R. Alimon, M. A. Rajion
Grazing preference, voluntary dry matter intake, stocking rate and digestibility of forage were investigated or sheep grazed in mature oil palm plantations in Malaysia. Dry matter intake (DMI) was estimated using the chromium sesquioxide marker method. The sheep were allowed to graze about 5 hours/day in oil palm plantations of age ranging from 9 to 21 years old. The crude protein, crude fibre and ash contents of selected herbage were 13.1% ; 24.6% ; and 8.3%, respectively, while the gross energy (GE) and the metabolisable energy (ME) were 16.9 and 6.0 MJ/kg DM, respectively. Broad leaf plants and grasses were normally found in plantation of all ages. Legumes and oil palm seedlings formed the smallest group in the whole mixture. Fern content increased in older plantations. Legumes, oil palm seedlings, fern, broad leaves and followed by broad leaf plants, legumes, oil palm seedlings and ferns in that order. The DMI and the metabolisable energy intake (MEI) of sheep at 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 months of age were 64.8, 65.0, 65.3, 65.6 and 67.4 g/kg W0.75 (p<0.05) and 0.39, 0.40, 0.40, 0.40 and 0.41 MJ/kg W0.75 , respectively. The average stocking rate was 4.3 sheep/ha. It was concluded that the performance of the sheep could be improved by increasing the daily grazing period and also by appropriate concentrate supplementation.
Keywords: Sheep; Nutritive Value; Dry Matter Intake; Stocking Rate; Mature Oil Palm Plantation; Grazing Preference
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