The study was to evaluate the effect of water contamination with used engine oil on growth rate, nutrient intake and rumen study of West African dwarf rams. Thirty (30) growing West African Dwarf Rams, age range between 14-16 months were randomly assigned into five treatment groups designated T0, T1, T2, T3 and T4 respectively, according to the graded levels of used engine oil contaminated water at the following varying percentage of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 for treatment T1, T2, T3 and T4 respectively. While used engine oil-free water served as experimental material for the control (T0) in a completely randomized experimental design. Result showed that the decrease was according to the increasing levels of used engine oil contamination. The values (kg) are 19.43, 17.26, 15.45, 14.53 and 12.66 for treatment T0, T1, T2, T3 and T4 respectively. The Average weight gain, weight gain and final weight also follow the same trend in progressive decline (p<0.05) as the quality of used engine oil increase among the treatments. The result for nutrient intake shows that, there was significant (p<0.05) as there were decrease in the values from T0 to T4 as an increase level in the percentage inclusion of the water with engine oil contamination. However, the pH, Ammonia and microorganism in the rumen of West African WAD ram offered water contaminated with used engine oil showed significant (p<0.05) difference among the treatment means. Animals on T0 has the highest values (p<0.05) for rumen pH, followed by T1, T2 while T3 was compared significant (p>0.05) with T4. The value for bacteria was found to be highest in T0 and T1 and lowest in T4. The value recorded for fungi, T0 had the highest values, followed by T1. Fungi for T2 was comparable (p>0.05) with T3 while T4 had the least value. The value obtained for protozoa was highest in animals T2, followed by T0, T2 while T3 compared significantly (p>0.05) with T4 as the lowest values. It was recorded from the results that sheep exposed to contamination of drinking water with used engine oil at varied percentage up to 10% can affect the water intake, feed intake, nutrient utilization and productivity of ruminants since the animal will not effectively utilize the feed.
Key Words: Water contamination, Used engine oil, Growth rate, Nutrient intake, Rumen study, WAD ram