Effect of Inclusion Rate of Effective Microbes (EM) on Growth Rate of Lambs Fed Low Protein Diet

Deribe Gemiyo


Background: A great majority of animal feed is roughage based (poor in quality) in crop-livestock mixed farming system of southern Ethiopia. EM is considered as one of the options that may improve poor quality feeds dominant in the area. A study was conducted to determine inclusion rate of effective microbes (EM mixed with wheat bran, EM-bokashi) on growth rate of lambs fed low protein diets at Dubo Mante research sub-station. Method: Twenty four (24) post pubertal male sheep of similar age (about 12 months age) with an average weight of 14.1±1.74 kg were purchased from local market. The lambs were assigned randomly to one of the four treatments (T1=0% EM, T2=1% EM, T3=3% EM, T4=5% EM). Water and rhodes (Chlorias gayana) hay were offered ad libtum. Results: EM-bokashi supplemented at 5% resulted in significantly (P < 0.05) higher intake and growth rate in terms of weight gain than those supplemented with 3% EM-bokashi. Likewise, lambs supplemented with 3% EM-bokashi showed significantly (P < 0.05) higher growth rate than those supplemented with 1% while the difference between 1% and the control (0%) is not significant. Similarly, lesser disease occurrence was observed in lambs supplemented with EM-bokashi than untreated animals. Supplementing 5% EM-bokashi added 51.2% and 43.6% additional economic incentives over the control and 1% EM level, respectively. Generally, both weight gain and profitability increased as level of EM supplementation advanced. Conclusion: Additional weight in terms of daily weight gain and profitability considered in this experiment are crucial in the livelihood of small-scale farmers. Hence, 5% EM-bokashi could be recommended as biologically and economically profitable inclusion level for lambs fed on low protein diet under smallholder farmer’s management conditions.

Keywords: - Lambs, growth, roughage, strategic supplementation, effective micro-organisms

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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