Abstract: The objective of the study was to determine the effect of supplement on weight gain and carcass characteristics of Mubende goats fed elephant grass as basal diet. Twenty intact male Mubende goats were randomly divided into five groups of four goats each. Each group was randomly assigned one of the five dietary treatments resulting into a complete randomized design. All the animals were individually fed Elephant (E) grass, used as basal diet ad libitum. Treatments were isonitrogenous amount (10 g N day-1) of Banana Peels (BP), Maize Bran (MB), Cotton Seed Cake (CSC) and fresh Leucaena Leaves (LL) offered as supplements. The control treatment was fed elephant grass alone without any supplement. Water and mineral blocks were offered ad libitum to all groups. At the end of the feeding trials (186 days), the goats were sacrificed for carcass analysis and the various body parts and organs were measured. Final live weights did not differ significantly between treatment groups (p>0.05) although, goats fed on CSC were heavier than the rest. Empty body and dressed carcass weights differed significantly (p<0.05) in goats fed on different diets. Dressing percentage in goats fed LL, MB and CSC were similar and significantly higher (p<0.01) than in goats fed on BP and E alone. The pH of the carcass was similar across all treatments. Weights of the head, full gut, empty gut, blood, kidney and omentum fat did not differ significantly (p>0.01) however, weights of skin, pluck and feet differed significantly (p<0.01). Various carcass components were highly correlated with live weight across all diets suggesting that all the diets did not severely alter allometry of growth. The critical nutrients for enhancing growth of goats seem to be sufficient amounts and the right combination of energy and protein. In this respect, maize bran and cottonseed cake seem to be better feed supplements in providing these nutrients.
K.O. Lapenga, C. Ebong and J. Opuda-Asibo, 2009. Effect of Feed Supplements on Weight Gain and Carcass Characteristics of Intact Male Mubende Goats Fed Elephant Grass (Pennisetum purpureum) ad libitum in Uganda. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 8: 2004-2008.