Influence of crop residue ration supplementation on the attainment of puberty and postpartum reproductive activities of Red Sokoto goats
Malau-Aduli, BS and Eduvie, LO and Lakpini, CAM and Malau-Aduli, AEO, Influence of crop residue ration supplementation on the attainment of puberty and postpartum reproductive activities of Red Sokoto goats, Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition , 89, (1-2) pp. 11-19. ISSN 0931-2439 (2005) [Refereed Article]
The general objective of this study was to come up with an appropriate, affordable and locally available crop residue supplementation package that would enhance reproductive performance in small ruminants. Specifically, 28 Red Sokoto weaner does between 3 and 4 months of age weighing between 2 and 3 kg were used in the first experiment to determine the influence of crop residue supplementation on age and weight at puberty as determined by blood progesterone levels. In the second experiment, another 28 adult does (≥2 years old) of the same breed in the same flock with lactation numbers between 1 and 3 were used to determine the length of postpartum acyclic period. In both experiments, a 3 x 2 factorial experimental design comprising three dietary supplements (A, B, C) at two feeding levels (1% and 2% of body weight) fed in addition to a basal diet of Digitaria smutsii hay and natural pasture ad libitum with an unsupplemented negative control group (D) and four goats per treatment was utilized. In ration A, a conventional concentrate supplement consisting of maize, wheat offal, cottonseed cake and bonemeal was utilized; in rations B and C, the supplement consisted of guinea-corn bran, cowpea husk and groundnut haulms; and maize offal, groundnut shells and groundnut haulms respectively. Unsupplemented (ration D) weaner does reached puberty at a later age and had lighter body weights than all the others. Weaner does on ration 2A (concentrate fed at 2% of body weight) attained puberty at the earliest age and heaviest body weight, although the age at puberty was not significantly different from those on rations 1A (concentrate fed at 1% body weight), 1C and 2C. Blood progesterone profiles before and after puberty ranged from 0.05 to 9.0 ng/ml, respectively, and was highest in does fed rations A and C and least in the unsupplemented does. The mean interval between kidding and initiation of ovarian activity was 54.28 ± 17.61 days and the mean interval between kidding and conception was 63.04 ± 25.34 days. Only 25% of the unsupplemented does conceived again during the period under study compared with 100% in rations 1A, 2A, 1C and 2C; 75% in ration 2B and 50% in ration 1B. It was concluded that implementation of supplementary feeding in the dry season improves reproductive performance in the Red Sokoto doe. Furthermore, ration C, a crop residue-based ration, was a suitable dry season supplementation alternative to the expensive conventional concentrate ration for the smallholder goat farmer in the subhumid tropics of Nigeria.