Deaths among West African dwarf goats fed sole Dactyladaenia barteri: a much-preferred browse of the tropical humid South eastern Nigeria

  • BE Obua Department of Ruminant Animal Production, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria
  • IC Okoli Department of Animal Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 1526, Owerri, Nigeria
  • AO Sonabare Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria


Dactyladaema barteri is an important shrub utilized in fallow development and as a much-preferred ruminant browse by local farmers in Nigeria. We report the death of two 12 – 15 months old West African Dwarf (WAD) goats used in a digestibility trail with D. barteri as sole feed and in a mixed browse - grass diet in the humid tropical southeastern Nigeria. The affected goats reduced feed intake, emaciated and became diarrheic. Treatment to stop the diarrhea was unsuccessful. Thirteen and 14 days after unset of signs, the two goats died after being fed the browse for 24 and 27 days respectively. Major post-mortem findings included inflammation and hemorrhages in the gastro-intestinal tract, congestion of the kidney and infra-madibular edema. The tannin content of D. barteri was 4.6% and appeared to be beyond the limit of tolerance of the goats. Sole feeding of D. barteri under experimental conditions did not support growth resulted in death of WAD goats and there fore should not be advocated.

Keywords: browse, Dactyladaema barteri, goats, poison, Nigeria

Animal Production Research Advances Vol. 1(1) 2005: 50-52

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eISSN: 0794-4721