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Effect of Feeding Some Forage Shrubs On Goats Performance And Rumen Fermentation In Dry Season. Egyptian Journal of Sheep & Goat Sciences, Proceedings Book of the 5th International Scientific Conference on Small Ruminant Production, Sharm El Sheikh-Egypt, P: 21-36, 2015.



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Egyptian Journal of Sheep & Goat Sciences, Proceedings Book of the 5th International Scientific
Conference on Small Ruminant Production, Sharm El Sheikh-Egypt, P: 21-36, 2015
ISSN : 2090-0368 - Online ISSN : 2090-0376 (Website : 21
A.A. Hassan1*; Salma. H. Abu Hafsa2; M.H.Yacout1; M.S. Khalel1; M.A.R Ibrahim3;
Dorina Mocuta4
1Animal Production Research Institute, Agriculture Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt.
2 Livestock Research Department, Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute, City of Scientific
Research and Technological Applications, New Borg El-Arab, Alexandria, Egypt.
3 Department of Animal Reproduction, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kafrelsheikh, Egypt.
4Faculty of Management and Economic Engineering, USAMV Bucharest;
Department Coordinator, Internal Audit, USAMV Bucharest
*Corresponding author:
The present study was performed to investigate the effect of feeding leaves and stems of
Acacia saligna, Leucaena leucocephala and Moringa oleifera fodder on nutrients digestibility,
nitrogen utilization, rumen fermentation and milk production of goats. Thirty lactating does
(weight ranged from 3033 kg), aged 2-4 years old and from 2nd to 3th lactation season were
randomly allocated into three similar groups (10 animals each). Each doe was given 300 gm barley
grains per day as energy supplement, while, the shrubs were given ad libitum. The first group fed
fresh Acacia saligna, the second group fed fresh Leucaena leucocephala and the third group fed
fresh Moringa oleifera ad libitum.
The lactating trial was extended for 75 days where goats were fed individually and fresh water
was available at all times. Nutrients digestibility coefficients and dietary nitrogen utilization of
experimental feeds were evaluated using four adult bucks. Rumen fermentation kinetics as well as
some rumen parameters were monitored on three fistulated adult does.
Results indicated that M. oleifera and L. leucocephala fodder had the (P<0.05) highest in crude
protein. Mostly digestibility of different nutrients of goats fed either M. oleifera or L. leucocephala
rations were (P<0.05) higher than those fed acacia saligna one. But nutritive value, nitrogen
utilization, and dry matter intake were (P<0.05) improved with goats fed L. leucocephal and M.
oleifera in comparison with acacia saligna. Milk production, protein and fat percentage were
(P<0.05) better for goats fed M. oleifera and L. leucocephala diet than those fed Acacia saligna
diet. Ammonia-N, volatile fatty acids concentrations, rumen volume, microbial protein synthesis
and total bacteria counts were (P<0.05) highest with M. oleifera and L. leucocephal groups
compared with A. saligna group. Blood glucose and serum total protein were decreased in goats fed
A. saligna. Thus, it could be concluded that M. oleifera and L. leucocephal fodder are suitable for
feeding goats without any adverse effect on their growth performance.
Keywords: Acacia saligna; Leucaena leucocephala; Moringa oleifera; milk production; rumen
fermentation; goats.
Animal production faces conflicting
demands to produce large quantity of high-
quality food at low prices. Nutritional solutions
now become more important to resolve these
demands. This can achieved by taking the full
advantage of alternative feed resources, such as
tropical or subtropical plants, in goat diets.
Furthermore, one of the ways to reduce cost of
animal production in developing countries and
therefore making protein available to people at
cheaper prices is by using agricultural by-
products and tropical plants to feed livestock
(Asar et al., 2010). Availability of conventional
feed resources is declining as livestock
populations increase especially in arid and
semi-arid areas of Egypt. Fodder trees and
shrubs are indispensable sources of animal feed
in Egypt, particularly in areas with dry to semi-
dry Mediterranean climate. This because they
22 Hassan. et al., 2015
can alleviate the feed shortages or even fill up
the feed gaps in the summer. They are
spontaneous species and essential components
of natural communities. In addition, they cover
large areas and constitute the grazing lands for
all domestic animals, mainly goats. Productivity
and nutritive value are widely vary among
species and provenances. In general, they have
low protein content, high fiber and ash and low
to moderate digestibility. Their feeding value
however does not always relate to their
chemical composition due to the presence of
anti-nutritional factors in most species such as
tannins, alkaloids, saponins, etc., which limit
nutrient utilization and reduce animal
performance (Hassan, 2012).
The use of fodder trees and shrubs to solve
the attendant problems of low productivity of
small ruminant has received research attention
in recent years (El Shaer, 2010) because fodder
trees are an important source of supplementary
protein, vitamins and minerals in developing
countries (Cheema et al., 2011). Acacia is a
perennial legume shrub that yield green forage
year round and are considered as a palatable
pasture shrub rich in protein (El Shaer, 2010).
Leucaena leucocephala is a nutritious,
leguminous tree found throughout the tropics,
subtropics and arid region for ruminants and
can be an excellent source of Ca, P, and other
nutrients (Helal et al., 2013). The leaves of L.
leucocephala have been widely used in Egypt
(Yousuf et al., 2007) as valuable forage
supplement to ruminants consuming low-
protein diets. Moringa oleifera, a non-
leguminous multi-purpose tree, is one of the
fastest growing trees in the world, with high
crude protein in the leaves > 20 % and
negligible contents of anti-nutritive compounds
(Makkar and Becker 1996). Its leaves and green
fresh pods are used as vegetables by humans
and are rich in carotene and ascorbic acid with a
profile of amino acids, vitamins A, B and C, Ca,
Fe and P (Makkar and Becker 1996). There has
been an increasing interest in the use of
Moringa as a protein source for livestock
(Asaolu et al., 2011).
Egypt, as one of the developing countries,
face shortage of animal meat, due to poor
production of animals, which led to high cost of
livestock and livestock products as well. So, the
purpose of this study is to evaluate the
nutritional effect of feeding goats with A.
saligna, L. leucocephala and M. oleifera, as
plant protein sources on the growth
performance, digestibility coefficients, nitrogen
utilization and milk production.
Experimental shrubs collection
This experiment was conducted at the
livestock unit of the City of Scientific Research
and Technological Applications, New Borg El-
Arab and Animal Production Research Institute,
Agricultural Research Centre from 1st August to
15th October, 2013. The plants (A. saligna, L.
leucocephala and Moringa oleifera) were
harvested around the experimental site; the
leaves and stems of the three shrubs were
separately pooled together and air-dried to
constant moisture levels, and thereafter bagged
for experimental procedures.
Animals, diets and laboratory analyses
Thirty lactating Zaraibi does were used in
this experiment. They were 2-4 years old,
weighing 30-33 kg and from 2nd to 3th lactation
seasons. The animals were divided into equal
three groups (10 animals each) according to
age, initial live weight and number of kids and
randomly assigned to the three experimental
rations using a randomized complete block
design (Steele and Torrie, 1980). Before the
start of the experiment, all does were kept for 7
days for adaption, during which all animals
were treated with Ivomec® injections against
external and internal parasites. All goats were
ear tagged and tethered individually at suitable
distance from each other, where barley was
given at rate 300 gm/head/day as energy
supplement, while, the three shrubs were
offered ad libitum. The first group was fed fresh
Acacia saligna (leaves & stems), the second
group was fed fresh Leucaena leucocephala,
and the third group was fed Moringa oleifera,
for 75 days. Milk yield was individually
recorded for two successive days, thus milk
samples were collected 4 times twice daily in
the 75 days through the collection period from
all goats according to Galatov (1994). Milk
Egyptian Journal of Sheep & Goat Sciences, Proceedings Book of the 5th International Scientific
Conference on Small Ruminant Production, Sharm El Sheikh-Egypt, P: 21-36, 2015
ISSN : 2090-0368 - Online ISSN : 2090-0376 (Website : 23
samples were chemically analyzed for total
solid (TS), protein, fat and ash according to
AOAC (2005), while lactose was calculated by
Digestibility trial and ruminal parameters
At the last week of the feeding trial, three
bucks weighing approximately 30.5 ± 2kg BW,
were housed individually in metabolism cages,
built to allow the quantitative collection of hard
feces, feed refusals and urine, for the next seven
days for digestibility estimation. Sub samples
(20% of feces and urine) were taken once daily
and frozen until analyses. Chemical analyses of
diets, feces and urine were applied according to
AOAC (2005). Values of the total digestible
nutrients (TDN) were calculated according to
the classic formula of Maynard et al. (1978) on
a dry matter basis (DM). Cell wall was analyzed
for neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent
fiber (ADF), acid detergent lignin (ADL) and
nitrogen bound to neutral detergent fibre (NDF-
N) using Tecator Fibretic system.
Hemicellulose and cellulose were determined
by difference according to Van Soest (1991).
Nitrogen free NDF (NDFn) is estimated as:
NDFn = NDF NDFICP (Neutral detergent
insoluble crude protein) (NDICP) which
derived by determining CP of the insoluble
residue of the NDF extraction. Non- fibrous
carbohydrate (NFC) was calculated by
difference: NFC = 100 − (% NDF + % CP + %
EE + % Ash), according to NRC (2001).
Extractable total phenols and total tannins in
feeds offered were determined as described by
Makkar and Goodchild (1996).
Samples of rumen liquor were taken at 0,1,
3 and 6 h post feeding from three fistulated
adult goats with approximately 30.5±0.5kg BW
for each treatment, to be immediately analyzed
for pH using Orion 680 digital pH meter. The
rumen fluid samples were preserved for
ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) determination
according to Preston (1995). Concentration of
total volatile fatty acid (VFA’s) was estimated
by using steam methods (Warner, 1964). Total
bacteria count was carried out according to
Difco (1984). Rumen volume was determined
by the colorimetric method using Cr-EDTA
before and after 3 and 6 hrs of feeding
according to El-Shazly et al. (1976). The
microbial protein synthesized (g MP/day) in the
rumen of goats fed the experimental diets was
calculated using the model equation developed
by Borhami et al. (1992):
g MP / day = mole VFA produced / day ×
2 × 13.48 × 10.5 × 6.25 / 100
where one mole VFA yield about 2 mole
ATP (Walker, 1965), one mole ATP produce
13.48 YATP (g DM microbial cell); Borhami et
al. (1979), N % of dry microbial cell = 10.5
(Hungate, 1965). Microbial counts as bacteria
and protozoa of ruminal fluid were determined
using a counting cell (Hawskley, UK) as
described by Demeyer (1981).
Nylon bags technique (Mehrez and Ørskov,
1977) was used to determine degradability of
DM and CP for different shrubs degradability.
Two polyester bags (7 X 15 cm) with pore size
of 45 μm were used for each incubation time.
Approximately 6 g of air-dried shrubs (ground
to 2 mm) were placed in each bag. All bags
were incubated in the rumen of each goat, then
they were withdrawn after 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72
and 96h, rinsed in tap water until the water
became clear, then they were squeezed gently.
Microorganisms attached to the residual sample
were eliminated by freezing at - 20°C (Kamel et
al., 1995). Zero-time washing losses (a) were
determined by washing 2 bags in running water
for 15 min. The degradation kinetics of DM and
CP were estimated (in each bag) by fitting the
disappearance values to the equation P = a + b
(1- e-Ct) as proposed by Ørskov and McDonald
(1979), where P represents the disappearance
after time t. Least-squares estimated of soluble
fractions are defined as the rapidly degraded
fraction (a), slowly degraded fraction (b) and
the rate of degradation (c). The effective
degradability (ED) for tested rations were
estimated from the equation of McDonald
(1981), where ED = a + bc/ (c + k), k is the out
flow rate.
Sampling and analysis of blood serum
Blood samples were collected at the end of
the experimental period, from all goats. Blood
samples were obtained from the jugular vein of
goats in the morning before access to feed and
water. Serum was obtained by centrifugation of
24 Hassan. et al., 2015
blood and then stored at 20 ºC until analysis.
Glucose concentration was determined by the
method of Trinder (1969). Serum cholesterol
and triglyceride were determined using the
colorimetric method of McGowan et al. (1983).
Serum total protein (TP) was measured as
described by the Biuret method according to
Henry et al. (1974). Albumin (A) concentration
was determined according to Doumas et al.
(1977). Kidney function was evaluated by
measuring blood urea using the colorimetric
methods of Henry and Todd (1974). Liver
function was assessed by measuring the
activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) by the
method of Reitman and Frankel (1957).
Statistical Analysis
Oneway analysis of variance was used to
test the differences among the experimental
groups. Means were separated by Duncan's
Multiple Range test (Steele and Torrie, 1980).
All statistical analyses were done using Proc
ANOVA of statistical analysis system (SAS,
Chemical composition
The chemical composition of Acacia
saligna, Leucaena leucocephala fodder and
Moringa oleifera are summarized in Table 1.
Crude protein and ether extract content of
Leucaena were higher (22.13 and 2.17 %,
respectively) than other shrubs. On the other
hand, fiber fraction contents as neutral detergent
fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), acid
detergent lignin (ADL), nitrogen bound to
neutral detergent fiber (NDF-N), total phenols
and total tannins of Acacia were higher than the
other two shrubs.
Digestibility of experimental rations:
Feed fodder intake (g/h/d), nutrients
digestibility coefficients (%) and cell wall
constituents (%) of goat fed different
experimental rations are shown in Table 2. The
results indicate that goats consumed Leucaena
leucocephala or Moringa oleifera had (P<0.05)
higher in DMI than fed Acacia saligna ration.
The increased DMI from Leucaena
leucocephala and Moringa oleifera, could
primarily due to the progressive decrease in
fiber fraction and condensed tannin content
(CT) of the diets. High dietary fiber generally
could reduce feed intake as fiber forms bulk, fill
the gut and slows down the rate of passage of
ingesta through gastrointestinal tract. In the
same trend, CT reduce palatability, digestibility
and consequently feed intake due to its
astringent property (Mueller-Harvey, 2006).
This result was validated by the negative
correlation between DM intake and CT and
fiber fractions. However, the result of the
multiple regression analysis shows that CT
intake was the major determinant of feed intake
as its effect on feed intake was more
pronounced than each of the three fiber fractions
intake (Das et al., 2011).
Data of Table (2) showed a significant
(P<0.05) increase in digestion coefficients of
DM and OM of Leucaena leucocephala group
compared with Moringa oleifera and Acacia
saligna groups. While digestion coefficients of
CP, CF, NDF, ADF and ADL with Leucaena
leucocephala and Moringa oleifera groups were
significantly (P<0.05) increased than Acacia
saligna group. The inclusion of Acacia saligna
decreased CP digestion coefficient. Binding
tannins with dietary protein generated stable
protein-tannins complex at rumen pH and
reduced the proteolytic activity and protein
degradation. When tannin-containing plants are
eaten, most binding appears to take place during
chewing, but additional binding can occur in the
rumen, including binding of proteins from other
dietary components (Waghorn and Jones, 1989).
Furthermore, tannins can reduce ruminal protein
degradability and plant cell wall digestion
because they bind with dietary protein and with
structural polysaccharides such as cellulose,
hemicelluloses and pectin, thereby, slowing
their digestion rate. Tannins might also interfere
with digestion by binding microbial enzymes
(Mc Sweeney et al., 2001) and this may explain
why Acacia saligna supplementation decreased
cell walls digestion.
Egyptian Journal of Sheep & Goat Sciences, Proceedings Book of the 5th International Scientific
Conference on Small Ruminant Production, Sharm El Sheikh-Egypt, P: 21-36, 2015
ISSN : 2090-0368 - Online ISSN : 2090-0376 (Website : 25
Table 1. Chemical composition and fiber fractions of experimental shrubs (% on DM basis).
Leucaena leucocephala
Moringa oleifera
Total phenol
Condensed tannin
Table 2: Dry matter forage intake and digestion coefficients of experimental rations fed to
goat bucks (mean±SE).
Leucaena leucocephala
Moringa oleifera
Forage intake as DM, g/h/d
411.89±38.73 a
403.76±31.88 a
Digestion coefficients (%).
60.50±0.68 a
59.30±0.87 a
63.32±0.71 a
62.39±0.93 a
60.31±0.21 a
58.44±0.41 b
59.69±0.88 a
57.64±0.44 b
59.55±0.58 a
59.22±0.84 a
56.79±0.88 a
56.44±0.72 a
46.88±1.22 a
46.19±1.17 a
abc Means within rows with different superscripts are significantly different (P<0.05).
Nutritive values and nitrogen utilization:
The nutritive values as TDN and DCP (%)
of Leucaena leucocephala and Moringa oleifera
groups were significantly (P<0.05) higher than
Acacia saligna group, may be due to higher
values of their digestibilities of various
nutrients. Dietary shrubs had significant effect
on nitrogen intake (NI) and N-utilization among
the experimental groups. The highest values of
NI and NA (19.39 and 11.69 g/h/d) were
noticed with Leucaena leucocephala group
compared with Moringa oleifera and Acacia
saligna groups, but NB of Leucaena
leucocephala and Moringa oleifera groups were
significantly (P<0.05) higher than Acacia
saligna group. The goats fed Acacia saligna at
the current study tended to less N balance. This
was explained by Degen et al. (1997), as
probably due to the presence of CT, the high
proportion of acid detergent insoluble nitrogen,
26 Hassan. et al., 2015
which not easily digested by intestinal enzymes,
and high urinary N that in turn might attributed
possibly to an imbalance of high N relative to a
low energy in the rumen. Tannins consistently
reduce the digestibility of protein in forages
(Barry et al., 2001) and these data fit these
general hypothesis. The relatively poorer
utilization of N in the Acacia saligna could
instead be a consequence of a post-ruminal
inhibition of digestion and or metabolism.
Rumen fermentation:
Ruminal fermentation activity of goat fed
different shrubs rations are presented in Table
4. Rumen liquor pH values were insignificantly
different among groups. While NH3-N
concentration was (P<0.05) higher with goats
fed Leucaena leucocephala and Moringa
oleifera compared with that of Acacia saligna
groups, which may be due to reduced
proteolytic activity in the rumen with Acacia
leaves fed to animals. Also, Min et al. (2002)
reported a similar action of Lotus corniculatus,
as a CT tannin rich plant, in the form of a
markedly reduced rumen proteolytic activity
and rumen ammonia concentration in sheep.
Bermingham et al. (2001) found a decrease of
ammonia nitrogen concentration in the rumen
of sheep fed sainfoin which contained 38 g
CT/kg DM. Thus, tannins usually reduce the
amount of ammonia N produced in the rumen,
which improves the assimilation of feed amino
acidic N by ruminants (Patra and Saxena,
2009). This decrease in ammonia concentration,
which usually accompanied with reduction in
the production of isoacids, which consequence a
decrease in degradation of feed proteins
(Alexander et al., 2008). However, rumen
ammonia concentrations are probably related to
a reduction in protozoa numbers (Newbold et
al., 1997), which plays a major role in ruminal
feed protein degradation (Jouany, 1996). The
impairment of protein metabolism in the rumen
may be due to two additive mechanisms
(Newbold et al., 2004). The first is reduction of
protein degradation to peptides thus plant
extracts such clove bud to reduce
concentrations of large peptides without
affecting ammonia concentrations suggesting
reduced peptidolityc activity (Busquet et al.,
2005), and the second mechanism is specific
inhibition of microbes such as the “hyper
ammonia-producing bacteria” and their
deaminase activity (Newbold et al., 2004).
Moss et al. (2000) showed that propionate
formation could considered as a competitive
pathway for CH4 production. Moreover,
Szumacher-Strabel and Cieslak (2012) noted
that limitation of methanogenesis might be due
to transformation of readily digestible
carbohydrates, such as starch, to propionic acid,
which may impact hydrogen transfer and, as a
consequence, limit processing rate. Indeed
propionic acid can be formed by pyruvate
conversion to propionate via the succinate
pathway or by converting pyruvate to lactate
and then propionate via the lactate-acrylate
pathway. Total VFA's concentration was higher
(P<0.05) with goats fed Moringa oleifera
compared with Leucaena leucocephala and
Acacia saligna groups. In similar trend, rumen
volumes and microbial protein synthesis were
greater (P<0.05) with goats fed Leucaena
leucocephala and Moringa oleifera than goats
fed Acacia saligna.Formation of VFA’s,
including propionic acid, in the rumen depends
on the substrates available in the rumen and,
therefore, the microbes involved (Szumacher-
Strabel and Cieslak, 2012). Molar proportion
(%) of propionic and butyric acids in (Table 4)
were insignificantly different among groups.
However, goats fed Leucaena leucocephala and
Moringa oleifera showed higher acetic acid
content than Acacia saligna group. The lower
production of TVFA for Acacia group could be
due to lower solubility of nitrogen and reduced
availability of substrates viz. amino acids for
production of VFAs. Getachew et al. (2008)
reported lower VFA production by adding CT
in batch culture of mixed rumen
microorganisms. The variability in VFA and its
molar proportion with different tannin sources
may be due to the variations in the type and
concentration of tannins presented in the tested
Egyptian Journal of Sheep & Goat Sciences, Proceedings Book of the 5th International Scientific
Conference on Small Ruminant Production, Sharm El Sheikh-Egypt, P: 21-36, 2015
ISSN : 2090-0368 - Online ISSN : 2090-0376 (Website : 27
Table (3). Nutritive values and nitrogen utilization of goats fed experimental rations
Leucaena leucocephala
Moringa oleifera
Nutritive values (%).
61.67±0.63 a
60.95±0.44 a
10.83±0.97 a
9.84±0.81 a
Nitrogen utilization (g/h/d)
19.39±0.63 a
16.12±0.48 b
N in faeces
7.70±0.16 a
6.70±0.12 b
N in urine
7.43±0.26 a
5.44±0.17 b
4.27±0.36 a
3.98±0.22 a
11.69±0.12 a
9.42±0.10 b
22.01±1.73 a
24.70±2.51 a
36.50±1.41 b
42.26±2.69 a
abc Means within rows with different superscripts are significantly different (P<0.05).
Table 4: Rumen liquor parameters and microbial nitrogen synthesis of goats fed
experimental rations (mean±SE).
Leucaena leucocephala
Moringa oleifera
NH3-N (mg/100 ml)
11.01±0.68 a
10.76±0.62 a
Total VFA’s ml
equv/100 ml)
11.54±0.41 b
12.82±0.35 a
Proportions of total volatile fatty acids (mol/100 mol)
66.41±1.98 a
64.37±1.78 a
3.15±0.13 a
3.02±0.10 a
Rumen volume (L)
3.64±0.35 a
3.57±0.66 a
Rates of outflow (%
5.26±0.17 b
5.39±0.27 b
Microbial protein
synthesis (g/h/d)
68.94±0.57 a
69.31±0.46 a
abc Means within rows with different superscripts are significantly different (P<0.05).
Rumen microbial counts:
Data of rumen microbial counts of ruminal
fluid of goats fed rations including Acacia
saligna, Leucaena leucocephala or Moringa
oleífera are presented in Table 5. Total bacteria
count was (P<0.05) higher with goats fed
Moringa oleifera and Leucaena leucocephala
compared with Acacia saligna groups. But total
protozoa counts were insignificantly different
among groups. Effects of tannins on rumen
protozoa and bacteria are variable and mostly
depend on type of tannins, their origin and
supplementation levels (Patra and Saxena,
2011). Animut et al. (2008) demonstrated that
increasing levels of tannins (i.e., 50, 101, 151
g/kg DM) in diets reduced protozoa numbers in
goat rumens. Wang et al. (2009) demonstrated
that addition of phlorotannins to rumen
bacterial cultures inhibited growth of
Fibrobacter succinogenes but stimulated
28 Hassan. et al., 2015
growth of Streptococcus bovis and Prevotella
bryantii. The lack of tannins effect in these
studies may be due to inhibitory effects on
some bacterial species but stimulatory effect.
Moreover, due to the long period of rumen
microorganisms exposure to tannins, it could
acquire resistance (Patra and Saxena, 2011).
Tannin-resistant or -insensitive bacteria have
been isolated in recent years from
gastrointestinal tract ecosystems (Nelson et al.,
1998). Tannin-resistant microorganisms in the
rumen are thought to prevent detrimental effects
on the animal due to tannins in the diet and may
be able to confer protection to animals not
adapted to a tannin-containing diet (Schneider
and Blaut, 2000). The low density of fibre
degrading microbes population (cellulolytic
bacteria and fungi) may be responsible for the
inhibition of fibre degrading enzymes and
protease activity. These in turn could also
reflected on reducing feed digestibility resulting
in low concentration of metabolites in the
rumen of goats fed pakar leaves (Singh et al.,
2011). Tjakradidajaja et al. (1999) reported that
Feral goats and camel fed on Acacia and
Callindra calothyrsus, containing high level of
tannins, were capable of tolerating tannins in
diet due to the presence of high numbers of
tannins resistant bacteria like Streptococcus
caprinus and Selenomonas ruminantium.
Degradation kinetics:
Estimates of ruminal degradation values (a,
b and c) fitted with rates of DM and CP
disappearance of tested shrubs are presented in
Table 6. The results illustrated that washing loss
fraction "a", degradable fraction "b" rate of
degradation "c" and effective degradability
"ED" of DM and CP were significant (P<0.05)
higher for goats fed Moringa oleífera campare
with those fed Leucaena leucocephala and
Acacia saligna rations, while rumen
undegradable fraction "U" was (P<0.05) lower
for those fed Moringa oleífera campare with
Leucaena leucocephala and Acacia saligna
groups. The metabolites of Acacia tannin
reduced the in vitro digestibility of dry matter,
organic matter and crude protein. The degraded
products of tannins from Acacia nilotica pods in
rumen fluid of goats were phloroglucinol, gallic
acid, resorcinol and catechin. Phloroglucinol
was the major degradation product while,
gallate was produced in traces. Goats harbor the
tannin degrading bacteria in the rumen
microflora without pre-exposure to a tannin-
containing diet (Barman and Rai, 2008). The
change in rate of degradation in the present
study was significantly (P<0.05) associated
with the tannin effect, suggesting that the
contribution of tannins to decrease the effective
degradation was a more result of delay in
digestibility than a reduction of the potentially
degraded fractions. In vitro DM disappearance
(IVDMD) for tree leaves has been found to
decline with an increase in tannin content
(Kumar and Vaithiyanathan, 1990). Chiquette et
al. (1988) showed by scanning and transmission
of electron microscopy that rumen bacteria
formed multiple adherent microcolonies on
high-tannin leaf and stem surfaces of the plant,
but these colonies did not penetrate the plant
tissues as effectively as did bacteria associated
with low-tannin strains. These bacterial
responses to high tannin contributed to the
reduction of DM disappearance and tannins
may also inactivate the rumen microbial
enzymes (Kumar and Singh, 1984). Horigome
et al. (1988) reported the inhibitory effect of
tree leaf tannins on enzyme activities. Inhibition
increased with the increase in degree of
polymerization and they demonstrated that both
the hydrolysable and condensed tannins had a
negative influence on IVDMD, but the batter’s
influence was more pronounced.
Table 5: Rumen microbial counts of ruminal fluid of goats fed Acacia saligna, Leucaena
leucocephala and Moringa oleífera rations(mean±SE).
Acacia saligna
Leucaena leucocephala
Moringa oleifera
Bacteria (x 10-9 cfu per ml)
5.86±0.53 b
7.63±0.66 a
7.99±0.41 a
Protozoa (x 10-5 cfu per ml)
ab Means within rows with different superscripts are significantly different (P<0.05).
Egyptian Journal of Sheep & Goat Sciences, Proceedings Book of the 5th International Scientific
Conference on Small Ruminant Production, Sharm El Sheikh-Egypt, P: 21-36, 2015
ISSN : 2090-0368 - Online ISSN : 2090-0376 (Website : 29
Table 6. Degradation kinetics of DM and CP (%) for Acacia saligna, Leucaena leucephela and
Moringa oleifera fodder (mean±SE).
Acacia saligna
Leucaena leucocephala
Moringa oleifera
a, %
17.63±0.24 c
21.91±0.38 b
30.12±0.22 a
b, %
38.25±1.86 b
36.13±0.91 b
43.06±0.33 a
a+b, %
55.88±0.51 c
58.04±0.31 b
73.18±0.63 a
c, %
0.036±0.007 b
0.049±0.006 a
0.035±0.003 b
43.77±0.19 a
41.81±0.24 b
26.77±0.44 c
EDDM 3, %
42.31±0.44 c
47.29±0.41 b
57.02±0.37 a
a, %
11.34±0.21 c
16.15±0.33 b
17.53±0.27 a
b, %
39.61±0.39 c
40.66±0.26 b
46.44±0.59 a
a+b, %
50.95±0.31 c
56.81±0.44 b
63.97±0.24 a
c, %
0.041±0.002 b
0.043±0.00 4 b
0.061±0.006 a
48.83±0.41 a
43.11±0.32 b
35.64±0.25 c
EDCP 3, %
37.81±0.52 c
43.44±0.19 b
52.06±0.33 a
abc Means within column with different superscripts are significantly different (P<0.05).
a = soluble degradable fraction (%) b = degradable fraction (%)
c = rate of degradability (% h-1) U = ruminely undegradable fraction {100-(a+b)}
ED = effective degradability (%).
Lactation trials:
Milk yield and milk composition of
lactating goats fed Acacia saligna, Leucaena
leucephela or Moringa oleífera rations are
presented in Table 7. Milk and fat yields were
significantly (P<0.05) increased for goats fed
Leucaena leucephela and Moringa oleífera
compared with goats fed Acacia saligna. But
Protein yield was (P<0.05) lower with goats fed
Acacia saligna than those fed Leucaena
leucephela and Moringa oleífera. However,
milk yield, fat and protein proportion of milk
could be reduced if dairy cows fed condensed
tannins daily (Grainger et al., 2009).
This contrasts with Wang et al. (1996) who
reported that tannins from Lotus corniculatus
fed to lactating ewes increased milk yield,
lactose and protein contents. One of the reasons
for these effects could be the increase in
metabolizable protein supply due to protein
binding action of condensed tannins (Patra and
Saxena, 2011) because effects of tannins on
ruminant productivity depend on the quality and
quantity of dietary protein. There were
differences in the quality of milk across
different shrubs, although Kumagai et al.
(1993) suggested that milk yield and
composition of dairy cows may be influenced
by the source of roughage. The present study
agrees with the conclusions drawn by
Khorasani et al. (1996), that dairy cows can
maintain similar milk yields, despite the marked
differences in the type of end products arising
from carbohydrate and protein digestion. Reyes
Sanchez et al. (2006) found that daily milk
production was significantly (P<0.05) higher
for cows fed M. oliefera supplement than those
fed B. brizan hay only. They added that the
improvement of milk production was associated
with an increase of fat and protein yields.
Mendieta-Aracia (2011) reported that M.
oliefera supplement did not affect milk
organoleptic characteristics including taste,
smell or color. The good influence of moringa
leaves on milk production and composition was
also reported by Basitan and Emma (2013),
who found that cows fed moringa supplemented
rations had (P< 0.05) higher milk and fat yields
than cows fed moringa free ration.
30 Hassan. et al., 2015
Table 7: Milk yield and milk composition for lactating goats fed Acacia saligna, Leucaena
leucephela and Moringa oleifera rations (mean±SE).
Acacia saligna
Leucaena leucocephala
Moringa oleifera
Milk yield, g/d
725.00±30.65 b
875.50±20.49 a
890.50±25.77 a
Fat, g/d
22.48±0.27 b
31.52±0.32 a
31.17±0.17 a
Protein, g/d
24.36±0.16 c
33.71±0.22 a
32.24±0.20 b
Milk composition (%):
Total solids
Solids not fat
3.10±0.10 b
3.60±0.16 a
3.50±0.11 a
3.36±0.09 c
3.85±0.10 a
3.62±0.12 b
1.14±0.07 a
0.93±0.09 b
0.85±0.05 b
abc Means within rows with different superscripts are significantly different (P<0.05).
Blood biochemical constituents:
Data of blood analysis given in Table 8,
illustrated that blood glucose was (P<0.05)
higher for goats fed Leucaena leucephela and
Moringa oleífera containing diets compared
with goats fed Acacia saligna diet, while blood
urea- N was (P<0.05) lower for goats fed
Acacia saligna compared with goats fed
Leucaena leucephela and Moringa oleífera.
However, total protein, albumin and globulin
were (P<0.05) higher for goats fed Leucaena
leucephela compared with goats fed Moringa
oleífera and Acacia saligna. Moreover,
cholesterol, creatinine, AST and ALT were
insignificantly different among groups.
However, calcium and phosphorus were
(P<0.05) higher for goats fed Moringa oleífera
compared with goats fed Leucaena leucephela
and Acacia saligna rations. The experimental
animals, particularly those consuming Acacia
saligna which contained CT, did not show
clinical signs of ill health or signs of tannin
toxicity such as brisket oedema, diarrhoea,
constipation, anorexia, hard pelleted feces
coated with blood and mucous. The linear
increase in glucose concentration reflects the
increased DM intake with increasing
concentrate proportion. Also, this is probably a
reflection of the energy status of the diets which
obviously would increase with increasing
concentrate proportion in the diets. Lower
serum glucose level of Acacia saligna relative
to other treatments could be attributed to higher
CT intake, which reduced feed intake and
consequently available energy. This conjecture
is confirmed by the negative significant
correlation between CT intake and serum
glucose level. However, the normal range of
blood glucose level (1.1 - 3.0 mmol/L) (Žubčić,
2001) tends to suggest that the depressed serum
glucose level of goats fed diet containing
tanniniferous Acacia saligna fodder is not due
to hypoglycaemia and tannic acid intoxication.
Similar cholesterol levels with all animals
indicate the absence of hypocholesterolemia
that agree with the findings of Olafadehan
(2011a). The insignificantly varied cholesterol
values for all goats further confirmed the
absence of hepatocellular damage. Increased
serum urea-N suggests increased rumen
ammonia concentration as the concentrate level
increased in the diets. Lower urea N of Acacia
saligna may be due to the comparatively higher
CT intake, which was negatively and
significantly correlated to urea N. The serum
urea-N levels were within the normal
established range 3.5 - 10.7 (mmo/L) for goats
(Sirois, 1995). The increased catabolism of
amino acids, when proteins of lower biological
value are used as feed, has been implicated for
high plasma urea N levels (Aderolu et al.,
2007). The insignificantly affected creatinine
values, which were within the normal range of
100 200 μmmol/L reported for healthy goats
by Sirois (1995), suggest absence of waste or
catabolism of muscle tissues, and that the
Egyptian Journal of Sheep & Goat Sciences, Proceedings Book of the 5th International Scientific
Conference on Small Ruminant Production, Sharm El Sheikh-Egypt, P: 21-36, 2015
ISSN : 2090-0368 - Online ISSN : 2090-0376 (Website : 31
animals were not surviving at the expense of
body reserve (Olafadehan, 2011b).
The significantly lower total protein and
albumin of goats fed Acacia saligna (Table 8) is
an indication of the relatively poor protein
quality of the grass and, of course, the level and
availability of dietary protein. The results
indicate the absence of proteinuria and
hypoproteinaemia observed in cattle consuming
tannin-rich oak foliage and manifesting tannic
acid toxicosis (Garg et al., 1992). The superior
values obtained with Acacia saligna show that
the tannins level of Acacia saligna is safe and
beneficial, and not detrimental, because tannins
at low levels are beneficial as they influence
some qualities of rumen undegradable protein,
thus improve protein availability and utilization.
Serum level of AST conventionally used for
diagnosing human and domestic animal hepatic
damage (Silanikove and Tiomkin, 1992),
whereas liver enzymes such as ALT, which is a
liver specific hepatocellular enzyme, released
by hepatocellular damage, more than gamma
glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), which used to
assess liver damage, (Mahgoub et al., 2008).
The normal ranges for ALT and AST are 7-24
IU/L and 43-132 IU/L (Daramola et al., 2005).
The fact that none of these blood metabolic
profiles in the present study differed from those
measured on tannin-free grass (Acacia saligna),
and all of them fell within the normal ranges for
goats suggest that no damage to the liver
occurred. This result, which is in agreement
with that of Tabosa et al., (2000), contradicts
the report that the antinutritional factors in
Prosopis julifloral pod diets caused tissue
damage in goats.
Blood antioxidant enzymes:
Enzymatic antioxidants activity of goats
fed Acacia saligna, Leucaena leucephela and
Moringa oleífera are presented in Table 9.
Thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances
(TBARS) was significantly (P<0.05) increased
with goats fed Acacia saligna compared with
goats fed Leucaena leucephela and Moringa
oleífera, but glutathione peroxidase (GPx),
glutathione S-transferase (GST), catalase (CAT)
and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were
significantly (P<0.05) increased with goats fed
Moringa oleífera compared with goats fed
Leucaena leucephela and Acacia saligna.
Antioxidant enzymes mainly SOD and
CAT are the first line defensive against free
radicals, which cause oxidative damage in
animal tissues. Catalase (CAT) is one of the
most important intracellular enzymes in the
detoxification of the oxidant hydrogen
peroxide. The activity of CAT and SOD
enzymes is inhibited with the high level of toxic
metabolites (Visavadiya and Narasimhachary,
2008). Glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) is the
most powerful antioxidant enzyme protects
cellular proteins against reactive oxygen species
(ROS) in the body (Arivazhagan et al., 2000). It
was reported that M. oleifera leaves contained
flavonoids such as Kaempferol, rhamnetin,
isoquercitrin and Kaempferitrin. These
polyphenolic compounds could significantly
contribute in scavenging free radicals or act as
free radical terminator (Satish et al., 2013).
Oyedemi et al. (2010) stated that, moringa can
reduce reactive free radicals that might lessen
oxidative damage in the tissues through
hydrogen peroxide decomposition. While, Choi
et al. (2010) found that the antioxidant potential
of plants stimulate GSH activity in rats. The
mode of action of plant antioxidant compounds
was explored by Venkatesan et al. (2012), who
stated that external antioxidants might enhance
phagocytic activity and increase stimulation of
immune and antioxidant activity. So that, M.
oleifera is a rich source of antioxidant
compounds i.e.; flavonoids, Vit A, B, C and E
beside some other trace minerals (Zn, Cu, Se
and Fe) which could eliminate the free radical
harmful effect, and in turn considered as added
value to its nutritional quality in ruminants
32 Hassan. et al., 2015
Table 8. Blood serum biochemical components of goats fed Acacia saligna, Leucaena
leucephela and Moringa oleifera rations (mean±SE).
Acacia saligna
Leucaena leucocephala
Moringa oleifera
Glucose (mmol/L)
1.34 ±0.10 b
1.98 ±0.13 a
2.11 ±0.11 a
Cholesterol (mmol/L)
1.75 ±0.46
1.76 ±0.39
1.76 ±0.58
Total protein (g/L)
58.22 ±0.52 c
69.90 ±0.48 a
65.61 ±0.33 b
Albumin (g/L)
28.96 ±0.44 c
33.60±0.66 a
31.14 ±0.29 b
Globulin (g/L)
29.26 ±0.38 c
36.30 ±0.32 a
34.47 ±0.55 b
Urea N (mmol/L)
4.11 ±0.11 c
5.36 ±0.16 a
4.94 ±0.14 b
Creatinine (μmol/L)
108.56 ±0.69
107 ±0.95
109.11 ±1.03
56.64 ±1.21
55.88 ±0.96
55.52 ±0.80
12.31 ±1.17
11.83 ±0.72
11.33 ±0.92
Calcium (mmol/L)
2.22 ±0.19 b
2.36 ±0.16 b
3.30 ±0.11 a
Phosphorus (mmol/L)
3.67 ±0.10 c
4.55 ±0.15 b
6.37 ±0.10 a
abc Means within rows with different superscripts are significantly different (P<0.05).
Table 9: Enzymatic antioxidants activity in serum of lactating goats fed Acacia saligna,
Leucaena leucephela and Moringa oleifera rations (mean ± SE).
Acacia saligna
Leucaena leucocephala
Moringa oleifera
(TBARS; nmol/ml)
0.54 ± 0.13a
0.22 ± 0.010 b
17.66±0.17 c
(GPx; U/ml)
13.78 ± 0.58 c
19.52 ± 0.34 b
21.84±0.31 a
(GST; μmol/hr/ml)
1.17 ± 0.09 c
1.76 ± 0.17 b
1.84±0.22 a
(CAT; μmol H2O2
46.16± 0.66 c
68.42 ± 1.14 b
74.77±0.72 a
(SOD; U/ml)
2.32 ± 0.33 c
4.16 ± 0.22 b
4.87±0.38 a
abc Means within rows with different superscripts are significantly different (P<0.05).
The results of this study indicate that L.
leucocephala and Moringa oleifera can be used
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Olafadehan, O.A. 2011. Haematological parameters, serum constituents and organ development of growing rabbits as affected by feeding of processed cassava peels. Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology, 11: 41-51. The effects of feeding ensiled, sun-dried and retted cassava peel meal on the blood constituents and organ development were studied using growing rabbits in a 9-week experiment. Four diets were formulated such that the control diet did not contain cassava peel meal (CPM) while the three other diets contained 200 g/kg of ensiled cassava peel meal (ECPM), sun-dried cassava peel meal (SCPM) and retted cassava peel meal (RCPM), respectively. Thirty-two rabbits, aged 6 week-old of mixed breeds, were allocated to a completely randomized design, with eight animals per treatment. The rabbits were slaughtered and used for the blood constituents and organ development study. All the processed CPM had much lower concentration of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) than the unprocessed CPM indicating the efficacy of the processing methods. Among the processed CPM, HCN concentration was highest in ECPM, intermediate in SCPM and lowest in RCPM. With the exception of neutrophil and eosinophil, other haematological parameters were significantly (P<0.05) affected by the dietary treatments. While the diets had no (P<0.05) effect on serum creatinine and urea, total and conjugated bilirubin, serum glutamate oxalotransaminase, serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase and glucose were (P<0.05) varied by the diets. However, all studied haematological indices and serum metabolites were within the reported range for normal rabbits. Relative weights of selected organs were similar (P>0.05) among the treatments. It is concluded that inclusion of 20% ECPM, SCPM and RCPM had no deleterious effect on the health status and organ development of the growing rabbits.
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Weaned V-line rabbits aged 6 weeks (n: 84), were randomly distributed into 7 experimental groups to evaluate barley, corn-cob meal (CCM), Alfalfa hay, berseem hay (Egyptian clover) and dried Faba bean straw (DFBS). The evaluation included chemical analysis and effects of substituting 30% CCM instate of barley as an energy source with Alfalfa hay, berseem hay, or DFBS each at 25% as a fiber source on productive performance, carcass traits, nutrients digestion coefficients and economical efficiency. Each experimental group involved 12 rabbits, with 4 replicates of 3 rabbits each. The experimental period lasted from 6 to 12 weeks of age. Results could be summarized as follow: 1- Higher NFE and EE values present CCM as a potential energy source for livestock, while Alfalfa hay had higher CP and EE followed by berseem hay. 2- Higher feed intake (FI) was noted for the control, while lower FI were recorded for all other treatments which averaged 13.95 to 18.14% of the control. Impaired Feed conversion ratio (FCR; 3.69 g./ g.) was recorded due to feeding the control, with better FCR averaging 3.22 g./ g. for all other treatments. 3- Significantly higher protein, digestible energy (DE) and fiber intakes were noted for the control, while overall DE intake of the control was similar to CCM with Faba beans straw. 4- Lower abdominal fat was noted for CCM with Faba beans straw (5.73%), Moreover, an increase in small intestine length was recorded for CCM with Alfalfa hay (362.50 cm), and longer caecum was noted for rabbits fed Barley with Alfalfa hay (13.38 cm). 5- Digestion coefficients ranged from 68.37 to 77.75% for DM and 70.26 to 78.76% for OM. Feeding CCM with Faba beans straw increased CP digestibility over the control (10.51%) and also overall other dietary treatments. Higher digestibility coefficients for CF (27.94%) and EE (75.67%) were associated with feeding CCM with Alfalfa hay. 6- Rabbits fed CCM with Alfalfa hay increased NFE digestibility by 12.57, 7.00, 6.96 and 4.75% over the control, Barley with Alfalfa hay, Barley with Berseem hay and CCM with Berseem hay, respectively. The highest TDN was recorded for CCM with Alfalfa hay (68.8%). Also, the highest DCP was for CCM with Faba beans straw which was similar to Barley with Faba beans straw and Corn-cob meal with Alfalfa hay. Moreover, the highest DE value was for rabbits fed Corn-cob meal with Alfalfa hay (3048 kcal /kg). 7- Net revenue and relative economical efficiency values were maximized by feeding CCM with Berseem hay, followed by feeding Barley with Berseem hay and then by feeding CCM with alfalfa hay . In conclusion, DFBS as a fiber source and CCM as an energy source can be substituted for dried clover and barley, respectively in growing rabbit diets without any adverse effect on performance or carcass traits. However, such ingredients might maximize feeding costs reduction which will be reflected on higher economical efficiency of growing rabbits.
The present study aimed to evaluate the palatability, nutritional value and nutritional performance of goats fed four salt-tolerant plant species. Each forage species was grown and harvested individually and total yield of nutrients was determined. The study consisted of a palatability trial followed by a digestibility trial. During the palatability trial, twenty-eight Black Desert male goats were divided randomly into four equal groups and offered one of the following rations as follow: G1: Pearl millet (PM); G2: Pearl millet (PM) + Atriplex nummularia (AN); G3: Pearl millet (PM) + Leucaena leucocephala (LL); G4: Pearl millet (PM) +Panicum turgidum (PT). Daily voluntary feed intake (VFI) of each forage and body weight changes were recorded. At the end of the palatability trial, three animals from each group were selected for the digestibility trial. Results showed that L. leucocephala was categorized as very good sources of protein (16.64%), energy (2.46 Mcal/ kgDM) and organic matter (90.8%). All the tested forages showed comparable amounts of dry matter yield (around 12 ton/ ha/ year), except of A. nummularia which attained the lowest yield (8 ton/ ha/ year). L. leucocephala was highly preferred by goats than other forages and exhibited the superiority of CP, TDN and DCP production. The amounts of voluntary intake of all forage crops were increased gradually during the palatability period up to the 10th week of the trial as the VFI values became constant. The highest values of total forages consumption were recorded for animals fed P. Millet mixed with L.leucocephala in G3 (1428g DM/h/d) followed by those fed P. millet plus P.turgidum in G4 (1177gDM/h/d). Goats in G3 were superior (P≤0.05) in total DMI, CPI and OMI. Goats in G1, G3 and G4 tended to digest OM, DM and converted carbohydrates (C.CHO) at the same levels. Goats in G3 digested crude protein (58.18%) more efficiently (P≤ 0.05) and showed the highest significant (P≤0.05) nutritive values, N retention and body weight gain. It is concluded that the combination of pearl millet with either L. leucocephala (G3) or with P. turgidum (G4) can be utilized as good quality feed materials for goat which could improve animal production from saline lands. L. leucocephala, as a protein and energy-rich fodder crop, could play an important role in providing a balanced diet to small ruminants in salt affected regions. Key words: salt-tolerant plants, palatability, nutritional value, digestibility, intake, small ruminants. Article Journal : Egyptian Journal of Nutrition an Feeds, 2013, 16 (1) Pages 65-77
The haematological and biochemical parameters of West African Dwarf (WAD) goats were determined in twenty WAD goats consisting of ten adults (3 bucks and 7 does) and ten young goats (3 buck-kids and 7 doe-kids). The means for Packed Cell Volume (PCV), Total White Cell (TWC), Red Blood Cell (RBC) and Haemoglobin (HB) were 29.4 ± 0.8%, 13.5 ± 0.8×103ml, 11.5 ± 0.4×106ml and 9.8± 0.3g/dl respectively. There were more lymphocytes (65.8 ±1.1%) than neutrophils (33.5 ±1.7%) in circulation. The values obtained for serum sodium, serum total protein and serum urea levels were 135.1±1.7mmol/L,7.1 ± 0.1g/100ml and 2.7 ± 0.3mmol/L respectively. The values obtained for the serum transaminases; serum Glutamate Pyruvate Transaminase (SGPT) and Serum Glutamate Oxaloacetate Transaminase (SGOT) were 8.9±0.9IU/ litre and 20.9 ±1.2IU/ litre respectively; while Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) was 10.7±1.2 IU/ litre. There were significantly (P< 0.05) higher Hb, Red Blood Cell (RBC) and Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) in adults goats. Lymphocytes percentage was higher (P<0.05) in male goats. This study has indicated haematological and serum biochemical values and could serve as a baseline information for comparison in conditions of nutrient deficiency, physiological and health status of WAD goats kept under native husbandry system in Southern Guinea Savannah of Nigeria.