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Effects of different levels of supplementation with cassava leaves (Manihot esculenta) on growth, parasite load and some characteristics of blood in the dwarf goat of Guinea
A study of the effect of two levels of supplementation with fresh leaves of cassava, on the growth performance, body condition score and on some blood characteristics of West African Dwarf goat was carried out in the experimental farm of the University of Dschang. Eighteen West African Dwarf goats aged 14 to 18 months, were divided into 3 groups of 6 animals each, based on their body weight and age: group 0 was kept as control and were fed only with Brachiaria ruziziensis; group 1 received in addition as supplement 400g of fresh cassava leaves (Manihot esculenta) per animal per day, while group 2 received in addition 800g of cassava leaves per animal per day. Samples of Brachiaria ruziziensis and Manihot esculenta leaves were harvested and taken to the laboratory for determination of the chemical composition. The refusals of supplement were weighed every morning while animals were weighed every 10 days throughout the duration of the experiment (80 days). The body condition score were carried out at the beginning and at the end of the study. From the results of this study, it appears that, cassava leaves are richer in crude protein (28.54% DM) and poor in digestible cellulose (2.95% DM) than B. ruziziensis leaves (respectively 19.54% and 16.94% DM). Animals of the control group lost about 10.25 ± 58.06g. The group 1 and 2 animals recorded daily weight gains of 18.50 ± 45.44 and 32.75 ± 58.15g respectively. The highest body condition score was recorded with animals of group 1 (2.83 ± 0.54), followed by that of group 2 (2.56 ± 0.80). It appears that fresh leaves of cassava could be used as a source of proteins to supplement numerous tropical grasses, characterised by their low protein content. Furthermore, Six gastro-intestinal parasite genera were identified: Trichostrongylus, Chabertia, Oesophagostomum, Eimeria with a prevalence of 100%, Haemonchus and Strongyloïdes with a prevalence of 16.67%. Also, supplementations with fresh cassava leaves do not affect red blood cells, white blood cells, haematocrite and sedimentation speed of the blood of Dwarf goat in this study.