Growth performance of Red Sokoto and West African Dwarf goats fed on native pastures supplemented with concentrate ration
Six Red Sokoto (RS) and six West African Dwarf goats (WAD) aged 12 months and housed individually were reared for five months at the Small Ruminants Improvement and Multiplication Research Unit of ESUT, Abakaliki Campus. The animals were allowed to graze in the University Paddocks containing both native and introduced pastures, browse plants and leguminous herbage. The grazing period lasted from 0800 - 1200 hours in the morning and 1500 - 1700 in afternoon daily and between these two periods they were fed supplemental diets. The results showed that there were highly significant difference amongst the members of the genotypes whose mean body weights were ranged from 24.71 ± 0.083 - 40.75 ± 0.55 (RS) and from 14.98 ± 0.47 - 27.52 0.73kg (WAD). The heights at the withers and body length measurements also showed highly significant increase (P< 0.01) in the genotype during the period. The two genotypes differed remarkably (P< 0.01) from each other with RS being superior in body weight and height at the withers, and body length. However, the measurements taken of the thigh size and hearth girth circumference revealed no real difference between the RS and WAD (P > 0.05). The findings indicate anthropometric areas requiring genetic improvement among the WAD, and at the same time serve as a pointer to the amount of response shown by the Maradi goats to management in the wet humid tropical environment to which it was being exposed.
Keywords: Growth Performance, Genotypes, Native Pastures, Supplements, Concentrate Rations.