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Abstract

Ten (10) goats were used in 10 weeks field experiment to determine the weight changes in goats and sheep under a semi-intensive system of management. The goats and sheep were grouped into two treatments; five groups each for both goats and sheep respectively and each treatment were replicated five times in a complete randomized design. The goats were allowed to graze for about 4-6 hours daily, while they were fed with 9000g of yam peels as supplement and water was supplied ad-libitum. The weight of the animals were taking weekly for a period of ten weeks . The result shows no significant difference (p>0.05) in the body weight of goats throughout the experimental period. However, shows significant (p<0.05) in sheep at 3rd, 4th and 8th week of the experiments. It is recommended that animals be given supplementary feedings during the dry season periods of the year within the study area.

 

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background of the study

The size and age of sheep and goats are normally related to their productivity. Larger sized animals usually produce more meat than smaller animals. Size is commonly represented by weight though other linear measurements can be used. The size of an animal should be considered in relation to it’s age allowing for evaluation of growth performance used as a component in deciding which animals to buy, sell, cull or mate. Body weight is measured not only to evaluate carcass yield and condition of the animal as a selection criterion but also to determine suitable medication dosage during health care and required feed amount of the animal. Goat farming has increased in the tropics and is important for economic and social livelihood of the large human population, contributing meat, milk and clothing in domestic markets.

The economic importance of goats and sheep in the livelihood of rural African people cannot be overemphasized. They play a pivotal role in the rural economy as sources of meat and milk and their processed products such as cheese, wool and hair (including monhair) and skins. Economic and environmental benefits are derived from dung (which improves soil fertility and structure) and from nutrient recycling, and also income generation. Goat production in Nigeria contributes significantly to the agrarian economy. Various factors are within the environment which dictates the performance of animals and these factors include rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, wind movement, solar radiation. The effect of these environmental factors can mediate through reduction or increase in feed intake, weight gain, plane of nutrition, diseases, reproductive performance and feed efficiency.

 

  • Statement of problem

Semi-intensive system of management involves a part time grazing of animals (4 to 6 hours) after which they are supplemented with cut forages or other available feed materials to make up for the inadequate feed they get from grazing and the energy expended during grazing can be replenished during supplementation of feed under this system of management.
Also considering the capricious nature of goats, they tend to expend more energy during grazing which could drastically affect their weight gain and subsequently their performances.

Increased influx of livestock population into Niger State due to available water bodies and feed stuff results in creating problems in the feed resources available.

 

  • Purpose of the study

The purpose of the study was to determine the weight changes in sheep and goats fed supplement yam peels and raised semi-intensively in teaching and research farm.

 

1.4 Objective of the study

The main objective of the study is the determination of weight changes in sheep and goats fed supplemental yam peels and raised semi-intensively in teaching and research farm of FUT Minna. However for the successful completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objective:

(i) To determine weekly body weight changes in sheep and goats raised semi-intensively.

(ii) To identify whether current weight gains are adequate to help and bring about improved productivity.

(iii) To examine the impact of those feed supplemental yam peels on the weight changes of the sheep and goats.

(iv) To evaluate the relationship between the weights of the sheep and that of the goats after being fed with the supplemental yam peels.

 

1.5  Research question

For the successful completion of the study, the following research question were formulated:

(i) How can the weekly body weight changes in sheep and goats raised semi-intensively be determined?

(ii) What are the ways of identifying whether current weight gains are adequate to help and bring about improved productivity?

(iii) How can the impact of those feed supplemental yam peels on the weight changes of the sheep and goats be examined?

(iv) What is the relationship between the weights of the sheep and that of the goats after being fed with the supplemental yam peels?

 

1.6 Justification of the study

Given the limited work done on the effects of different management systems on weight gain in sheep and goats, this research on the determination of weight changes in sheep and goats raised semi-intensively is of paramount importance. This is because it will aid in generating baseline information on weight changes that will be used to advise livestock farmers within the study areas on good management practices with optimal impact on weight gain in sheep and goats which will result in high profit making for the farmer.

During the dry season of the year, there is high competition on the feedstuff available. This brings about a need for supplementary feeding of the animals. Dry season periods could bring about decrease in weight gain, this leads to low economic value of our livestock species.

 

1.7 Significance of the study

It is conceived that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great benefit to the livestock farmers on how to study the different areas on good management practice of their sheep and goats which will result in high profit making; the study will also be of great benefit to some of the animal rearers that are taking rearing business to the next level of productivity.

It is conceived that the study will also be of great importance to researcher who are in need of information on similar field. Finally, the study will also be of great importance to lecturers, teacher’s students and the general public.

 

1.8 Scope and limitation of the study

The scope of the study is the determination of weight changes in sheep and goats fed supplemental yam peels and raised semi-intensively in teaching and research farm. However, the study has some constrained and limitations which are:

(a) Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

(b) Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

(c) Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.

1.9  Definition of terms

Determination

It is the quality of being determined, firmness of purpose.

 

Weight

It is a body’s relative mass or the quantity of matter contained by it, giving rise to a downward force; the heaviness of a person or thing.

Changes

To make or become different.

Sheep

It is a domesticated ruminant mammal with a thick woolly coat and (typically only in the male) curving horns. It is kept in flocks for its wool or meat and is proverbial for it’s tendency to follow others in the flock.

Goats

It is a hardy domesticated ruminant mammal that has backward-curving horns and (in the male) a beard. It is kept for its milk and meat, and noted for it’s lively behaviour.

Supplemental

It is provided in addition to what is already present or available to complete or enhance it.

Semi-intensively

Semi-intensively systems are commonly used by small scale producers and are characterized by having one or more pens in which the birds can forage on natural vegetation and insects to supplement the feed supplied.

Teaching

Teaching is the process of attending to people’s needs, experiences and feelings and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things.

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