Management of west African dwarf goats fed value-added cassava-based diets in semi humid zone of Nigeria
The need to assist the rural small ruminant farmers in the proper feeding of their animals brought about the formulation and recommendation of value-added cassava-based diet(s) which the low income rural farmers can adopt for the feeding of their West African Dwarf (WAD) goats. This was premised on the observation of the common practice of uninhibited feeding of goats on wastes of cassava (Manihot esculenta) in the cassava producing parts of the Nigeria, where cassava is a staple food and its peels are largely wasted. Value-added cassava diets were formulated with graded levels of cassava wastes, cowpea haulms, bone meal, sulphur and salt. Each ration was fed to an experimental and a control group of WAD goats for 16 weeks and the pathological effects monitored. There were progressive increases in the blood residual cyanide concentration values of the groups of goats fed formulated diets. No clinical manifestation of cyanide poisoning was observed in any of the goats treated with VAC diets but histology showed dilation of the tubular lumens, the most severe was observed in goats fed diet 4. VAC diets 1, 2 and 3 are recommended for goat feeding in rural communities due to minimal toxicity which can be minimised by incorporation of elemental sulphur or addition of sulphur-rich plants into the diets.
Keywords: Antioxidant, Cyanide, Cassava-based diet, Goats, Rural farmers, Sulphur