Fluoride Levels in Water, Animal Feeds, Cow Milk, Cow Urine and Milk Production of Dairy Cattle from Kiambu and Thika Districts in Kenya
Kiambu and Thika Districts are situated in Central part of Kenya. Most of the available land is suitable for agricultural use. Majority of the farmers are small scale or subsistence dairy farmers. Intake of excess fluoride in water, feed and mineral supplements may adversely affect health, reproduction and production in dairy cattle. The objectives of this study were to investigate the levels of fluoride in water, urine, milk and animal feeds and mineral salts from dairy farms in Kiambu and Thika, as well as to relate milk yield and fluoride intake. Samples were analyzed using electroanalysis technique. The overall mean fluoride concentration in feeds from societies was 60.9 + 132.0 mg F/kg. The mean fluoride concentration in feeds from Nderi, Kikuyu, Chania, Limuru, Kiambaa and Lari co-operative societies were: 19.5 +11.3 (n=19) 24.1+28.6 (n=22), 55.2+73.7 (n=18), 67.6+93.4 (n=15), 91.9+226.3 (n=24) and 203.4+ 243.2 (n=6) mg F/kg respectively. Individual dairy co-operative society and the type of sample significantly (p<0.05), influenced fluoride levels in feedstuffs. The overall mean fluoride levels in water (n=149) was 0.25+0.45mg L-1.The fluoride level in water during dry season were significantly (p<0.05) different from wet season samples based on the source of water and dairy co-operative societies. The mean (0.25mg F/L) fluoride concentration in water for all the societies was below the tolerance level of fluoride for dairy cows of 3-6mgFL-1.one hundred and thirty dairy milk and 106 urine samples of dairy cattle were obtained for fluoride analysis. The mean fluoride level in milk was 0.0066 + 0.14mgF/kg. Milk fluoride levels were however, not significantly influenced (p>0.05) by neither seasonal variations, breed of cattle, source of water nor co-operative society didn't affect urine fluoride levels significantly (p>0.05). Two hundred and forty six dairy cows were assessed for milk production. The mean milk production was 3.13 + 2.78 l/cow/day. There was a significant difference (p<0.05) in milk production due to seasonal variation and dairy co-operative society. Water and feedstuff fluoride levels did not significantly influence (p>0.05) milk production. However there is need to keep surveillance on the fluoride levels in commercial mineral salts for dairy cattle.
The Kenya Veterinarian Vol. 27 2004: pp. 65-72