The effects of feeding dried sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaf (SPL) on growth performance, digestibility, and nitrogen (N) utilization were studied in sheep. Twenty-four rams with initial body weight of 18.5 ± 1.49 kg were randomly allocated to four treatments containing ad libitum natural grass hay alone (T1), hay + 150 g SPL (T2), hay + 300 g SPL (T3) and hay + 450 g SPL (T4) on as fed basis. Results indicated that dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM) and crude protein (CP) intakes increased (P < 0.001) with increasing levels of SPL. Sheep fed with T2, T3 and T4 diets gained 55.1, 52.6 and 66.5 g per head per day, respectively, while the gain of non-supplemented sheep (9.19 g per head per day) differed (P < 0.05). Digestibility of DM, OM, and CP was higher (P < 0.01) for all supplemented sheep compared with the control. The CP digestibility and N retention were negative in non-supplemented sheep. Urinary N excretion decreased (P < 0.001) with the increasing levels of SPL supplementation. The N retention improved with the increasing levels of SPL and was the highest (P < 0.001) in sheep fed with T4 diet and the lowest in non-supplemented sheep. In conclusion, supplementing a basal diet of natural grass hay with SPL considerably improved the average daily gain, OM and CP digestibility and N retention.
apparent digestibility, Ipomoea batatas leaf, nutrient intake, nutrient utilization, weight gain, natural grass hay
Melesse, A., Chalew, N., Nurfeta, A. (2020): Effect of Sweet Potato Leaf Supplementation on Growth and Nutrient Digestibility in Sheep. Scientia Agriculturae Bohemica, 51, 51-57. DOI: 10.2478/sab-2020-0007