Presented To

Department of Agricultural Science

Nine feeding experiments and one metabolism study were conducted to investigate the water requirements and metabolism of some indigenous Nigerian sheep and goats including the various factors that influence it in the Sudan Savanna Zone. The studies conducted examined the wrter balance, seasonal variations, breed effect, diet effect, influence of feed and water deprivation end also effect of physiologic states on water requirements of these indigenous Nigerian sheep and goats. Growth performance of the indigenous penned sheep breeds were much better than that of the goats for example average daily gain (ADG) for Yankasa was 0.110kg while that of Mcradi was 0.P5kg. Composition of the whole bodies of sheep and goats showed that water component ranged from 52.37 - 71.51% for sheep and 48.16 - 74.69% for goats. Tritiated water space (TOH) as percentage of liveweight was (66.1%) for Maradi goats, 73.6% for Yankasa, 80.5% for Ouda and 77.8% for Sahel. The biological half-life of tritium was least in Yankasa (1T5.5h) and longest in Sahel (I73.3h). Water turnover per day/animal was 2.52L, 2,63L, 0.86L, 1.0L for Ouda sheep, Yankasa sheep, Sahel goat, and Mrradi goats breeds respectively. The results showed a variation in water requirement with age of sheep and goats but no conclusion could be drawn for relationship between sex and water requirement. Also results showed significant (P/O.01) effects of seasonal variations on water requirements of Yankasa sheep. Water deprivation depressed the growth performance of Yankasa sheep and this was very prominent in the hot dry season. Water restriction negatively affected the growth, lactation and pregnancy performance of Yankasa ewes. Milk yield dropped drastrically when water was not given daily to lactating Yankasa ewes. Pregnant ewes watered 72hourly aborted or gave birth to weak lambs. Feed restriction in sheep resulted in reduced water intake and consequent weight loss. Results of the metabolism study showed that Maradi goats produced drier faeces than Yankasa sheep. At high environmental temperatures, evaporative water loss plays an important role in regulating body temperature. Evaporative water loss of the Yankasa sheep was l62.4ml/kg0.73/day while it was 120.4ml/kg0.73/day for Maradi goats. The percentage faecal water ranged between 50-60% for Yankasa and 40-45% for Maradi goats. Investigations with sheep and goats showed a great influence of diet on water intake. Sheep and goats on low protein rations drank less water than those on high protein rations.


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