Modulatory Effect of Ascorbic Acid Supplementation on the Physiological and Behavioural Parameters in West African Dwarf Goats Confined During the Rainy Season
This study was carried out with the aim of investigating the modulatory effect of ascorbic acid (AA) on the physiological and behavioural parameters in confined West African dwarf goats during the rainy season. A total of fourteen adult West Africa Dwarf goats, male and non-pregnant, non-nursing female were used for the study. The animals were divided into two groups of seven animals each, experimental for those in group 1 and control for group 2. The haematological parameters obtained in experimental animal pre-confinement was not significantly (P > 0.05) different from the values obtained in the control animal during the same period. The values of leukocyte (7.57 ± 0.37 x 103/µl) obtained in the experimental animal post-confinement was significantly (P < 0.05) lower than 9.23 ± 0.85 x 103/µl obtained in the control animal. There was no significant (P > 0.05) difference in the recorded haemolysis between experimental and control animals at pre-confinement. The lowest percentage haemolysis of 1.58 ± 0.62 % was obtained in experimental animals post confinement at 0.85 % of Sodium Chloride concentration while the corresponding value in the control animals was significantly (P < 0.05) higher. The excitability score in experimental animals with a value of 42.86 % was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than the control animals with a value of 0.00 % obtained during confinement. The same trend was recorded post confinement. All the observed behavioural activities pre-confinement was not significantly (P > 0.05) different in both experimental and control goats. The behavioural activities of standing (71.43 %) in experimental animals was significant (P > 0.05) higher than the value of 42.86 % in control animals. Also the behavioural activities of eating and drinking with a value of 71.43 % and 57.14 % respectively was significantly (P < 0.05) greater in experimental animals than the corresponding value of 28.57 % and 14.29 % in the control animal respectively while a value of 57.14 % recorded for behavioural activities of lying down in control animals was greater than 28.57 % recorded in experimental animals during confinement. The behavioural activities of standing (85.71 %), sniffing (57.14 %), fighting (57.14 %), eating (71.43 %) and drinking (57.14 %) was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in experimental animals compared to the corresponding values in the control animals post-confinement. In conclusion, it is thus recommended that ascorbic acid should be administered to goats in confinement during rainy season to ameliorate the stress induced by confinement as this may enhance their health and productivity during this period.