Animal Research International

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A preliminary study on copper and zinc levels and associated haematological changes in the blood of goats slaughtered at Bodija Abattoir, Nigeria

Afusat Jagun Jubril, Zaharat Olamide Kadri, Latifat Ajoke Adekunle


Copper and zinc are two micro-minerals important for maintenance of health and optimal production. This research sought to establish the levels of copper and zinc in goats to provide data for further studies on micronutrients, their interaction and deficiency states. Health status of sampled goats were clinically evaluated. Blood samples were collected through jugular venu-puncture. One (1) ml of each blood sample was acid digested with concentrated nitric acid, assayed for zinc and copper using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Haematology was also done using whole blood as a health index. Most of the goats looked apparently healthy, while few goats showed emaciation, crusty skin lesions, varying degrees of achromotrichia (change in coat colour) and rough hair coats. 89.9 % had hypocupraemia, while none of the sampled goats showed zinc deficiency. However, zinc toxicity occurred in 84.4 % of the sampled goats when compared to reference values. Haematology showed varying result, ranging from monocytic hypochromic anaemia to polycytaemia. All anaemic animals were found to be deficient in copper. The study has highlighted the presence of copper deficiency and or zinc toxicity in goats and forms a preliminary data to the study of the fate of small ruminant health in the face of micronutrient imbalance.

Keywords: Copper, Zinc, Micronutrient, Haematology, Hypocupraemia, Achromotrichia, Goats

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