Nutritionally-related blood metabolites and faecal egg counts in indigenous Nguni goats of South Africa
The objective of the study was to determine the effect of season on faecal egg counts and biochemical profiles in indigenous Nguni goats of South Africa. Body weights, body condition scores, faecal and blood samples were collected from 96 goats. Faecal samples were analysed for nematodes and trematodes. Blood was analysed for packed cell volume (PCV), glucose, cholesterol, total protein, albumin, globulin, urea and creatinine. Significantly higher total protein and globulin values were recorded in the wet than the dry season. A significant positive correlation was recorded between body condition scores and albumin concentrations. Season had an effect on glucose, globulin, TP, creatinine, PCV and FEC of Nguni goats. It, therefore, is imperative to put measures in place to counteract the drop in any of these parameters, with season, if productivity of the indigenous goats is to be maintained. Further studies are required to determine the parasites causing chronic health challenges that were evidenced by elevated globulin concentrations in the flock studied. Since the high globulin levels were not accompanied by clinical cases, the reference levels used might be inappropriate for the indigenous Nguni goats.
Keywords: Alkaline phosphatase, creatinine, total protein