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Influence of Different Grass Diets on Cast Production Efficiency and Growth Rate of Earthworm
Current Issue
Volume 4, 2016
Issue 5 (October)
Pages: 56-60   |   Vol. 4, No. 5, October 2016   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 76   Since Oct. 10, 2016 Views: 2112   Since Oct. 10, 2016
Nweke I. A., Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam Campus, Nigeria.
Chime E. U., Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam Campus, Nigeria.
Ibeh C. U., Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam Campus, Nigeria.
Earthworms have been found to use wide variety of plant materials for food and derive sufficient nourishment from them. These plant materials have different impacts on the nature and amount of casts produced, size of population, growth rate and fecundity of the worms. It was against this backdrop that sub-adult Eudrilus eugenae were cultured for six weeks in a plastic sieve of dimension 11cm x 23cm, using different grass diets in a soil culture. The diets are; paspalum grass species (Pg), paspalum grass + pig manure (Pgm), bracharia grass species (Bg) and bracharia grass + pig manure (Bgm). The findings from the study show that cast production efficiency and the growth rate varied with the diets. Pig manure enhanced cast production ability of the earthworm. The total cast produced from the individual grass diets in three to six weeks were: 73.68gkg-1 (Bgm) > 11.26gkg-1 (Pgm) > 2.39gkg-1 (Bg) > 2.37gkg-1 (Pg) respectively, while the percentage influence of pig manure on the cast production activities of Eudrilus eugenae in 3 and 6 weeks intervals of the experiment are; 80% paspalum grass, 96.46% bracharia grass (in 3 weeks) and 77.52% paspalum grass, 97.12% bracharia grass (in 6 weeks) respectively. The pig manure had very little influence on the weight gains and length of the worm. Grass diets without pig manure have greater influence on the weight and length of the earthworm assessed. The highest weight (5.75gkg) and length (40.82cm) of worm from 3 to 6 weeks was recorded in paspalum grass diets. The correlation coefficient result indicated that the weight gain was dependent on the amount of cast produced by the worms. Thus, the results of this study showed that the cast production efficiency, weight gains and length of Eudrilus eugenae are very much dependent on the type, nature and amount of the grass diets offered to the worms.
Bracharia Grass, Eudrilus eugenae, Cast, Paspalum Grass, Weight
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