Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 4 (8), pp. 362-367, September 2014.
Manuscript Number: 062414277
Influence of Coat Pigmentation on Feed and Water Consumption of West African Dwarf Sheep Raised in Humid Tropics
Adelodun Opeyemi Fadare
Department of Environmental Biology and Fisheries, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo-State, Nigeria.
Email: delodunfadare @gmail .com/ adelodunopeyemi @yahoo .com, Phone: +2348034782356
This experiment was carried out to determine the effect of coat pigmentation on feed and water intake of West Africa Dwarf Sheep using 24 weaned lambs with different coat pigmentations. Feed intake of Panicum maximum and concentrate feed, water consumption, weight gain as well as feed efficiency were measured. The analysis of variance showed that the effect of coat pigmentation was significant (p< 0.05) on forage intake, weight gain, feed efficiency and water consumption. However, concentrate feed intake was not significantly (p>0.05) affected by coat pigmentation. The least value of weight gain was recorded for black sheep with the weekly gain of 0.49 ± 0.19kg. There was no significant difference in the weekly weight gain of brown sheep and white sheep with 0.69 ±0.12kg and 0.60 ± 0.15kg respectively. Brown coat pigmentation type had the highest feed efficiency of 0.25± 0.05 followed by white sheep (0.21 ±0.03) while the black sheep had the least feed efficiency (0.18 ± 0.02). The mean daily water consumption of the WAD sheep ranged from 0.96 ± 0.02 litre to 1.50 ±0.02 litre with the brown sheep having the highest water consumption while black sheep had the least. Female sheep had lower feed efficiency and water consumption than male sheep. In conclusion, animals with light pigmentation had higher values for feed intake, daily water consumption and feed efficiency than the dark (black) pigmentation.
Keywords: Coat pigmentation, feed intake, water consumption, sheep.
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