Haematology, serum biochemistry and growth performance of pregnant Kalahari red goats fed concentrate diets at three protein levels in Nigeria
Haematological and biochemical indices of domesticated animals like goat can give some insight into their performance potentials. High performing does have the tendency of producing healthy kids with reasonable weight at birth compared to least performing does. A study was conducted to investigate the haematology, serum biochemistry and growth performance of grazing pregnant Kalahari Red does fed concentrate diets at three protein levels. A total of 33 dry primiparous Kalahari Red does between 2-21/2 years with an average body weight of 38.10±1.13kg were randomly allotted to three treatments consisting of 11 does per treatment for a feeding trial that lasted for 153 days. Concentrate diets with 3 crude protein (CP) levels i.e. Low Protein Diet- LPD (12.42% CP at 124.93gday-1), Medium Protein Diet- MPD (14.18% CP at 145.87gday-1) and High Protein Diet- HPD (16.35% CP at 168.19gday-1) were fed to the does at 3% of their body weight from mating till kidding. Data obtained were subjected to analysis of variance in a completely randomized design at 5% probability level using SAS® 9.1 Statistical package. Does fed MPD recorded highest value (p<0.05) for white blood cells (20.50x109/l) and serum albumin (2.86g/ dl). It was observed at the end of the study that pregnant Kalahari Red does fed MPD recorded highest values (p<0.05) for weight gain (20.57kg); net weight gain (10.73kg); daily weight gain (135.87gday-1); and daily weight gain less foetal and afterbirth weights (71.06gday-1) compared to other does. From the results of this study, it can be concluded that dietary supplementation of grazing pregnant Kalahari Red does with concentrate diet containing 14.18% CP improved the serum albumin and had the best performance characteristics.
Keywords: Rhodes Grass, Grazing, Low Protein Diet, Medium Protein Diet, High Protein Diet