Performance and Parasitology of Semi-intensively Managed West African Dwarf Sheep Exposed to Gastrointestinal Helminth Infect-ed Paddocks and Varied Protein-energy Feeds
AbstractBackground: The performance and parasitology of semi-intensively managed West African dwarf (WAD) lambs were evaluated following exposure to gastrointestinal helminth infected paddock and varied protein-energy feeds.Methods: Twenty four lambs obtained from the Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics and brought to Directorate of University farm (DUFARM) of Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Ogun state, Nigeria, where the research was carried out in 2014, were grouped into four each containing six animals based on different energy-protein feed combination thus; group 1(G1) low energy low protein, group 2 (G2) low energy high protein, group 3 (G3) high energy low protein and group 4 (G4) high energy high protein. Experimental animals were supplemented with concentrate feed after grazing on daily in a nematode infected paddock. Clinical signs of infection were monitored. Live weight, faecal egg count (FEC), worm counts, packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin concentration (Hb) and red blood cell count (RBC) were determined using standard methods.Results: Anorexia and intermittent diarrhea were the observed signs. Worm counts did not differ significantly (P=0.309) among the groups. The weight and FEC differed significantly (P˂0.05) across the days and among the groups, while haematological parameters increased significantly (P˂0.05) across the days and among the groups.Conclusion: Lambs in G2 followed by G4 showed improved parameters and superior performance when compared to the other groups. It is therefore recommended that feed high in protein content is capable of mitigating deleterious effect of gastrointestinal helminth parasitism.
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