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Maintenance Behaviour of West African Dwarf Goats on Concentrate Diet Containing Incremental Sodium Humate

Abstract

Background and Objective: The maintenance behaviour of farm animals is a veritable tool to measure the welfare of the animals. This study investigated the duration and frequency of feeding, lying, walking and standing of West African Dwarf goats, in responses to the diets containing incremental sodium humate. Materials and Methods: Experimental diets were formulated containing sodium humate at 0, 5, 7.5, 10 and 12.5 g kgG 1 diet (control, 5, 7.5, 10 and 12.5 HNa). Three animals in each experimental diet for 90 days were transferred to cages for behavioural observations. Video recordings from a 12 unit CP PLUS ® CCTV camera (Model: CP-ER-1606E2-T) were reviewed for behavioural parametersusing Boris ® software. The results were analysed using one-way ANOVA as outlined in SPSS. Results: The result reveals a quadratic increase (p<0.05) in the mean duration of feeding in the 7.5 HNa and 10 HNa groups. Feed intake and the mean duration of standing and walking were reduced (p<0.05) in the supplemented groups. The frequency of walking decreased (p<0.05) in the sodium humate groups. However, there was an increase (p<0.05) in the frequency of feeding and standing. Conclusion: It was concluded that sodium humate has the potential to improve the welfare of West African Dwarf goats under confinement.
Maintenance Behaviour of West African Dwarf
Goats on Concentrate Diet Containing
Incremental Sodium Humate
1Timothy T. Ikyume, 2Azeez O. Yusuf, 2Olugbemiga O. Adeleye, 3Peter A. Dele, 4Adebayo O. Oni and
2Olusiji S. Sowande
1Department of Animal Production, Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi, P.M.B. 2373, Benue, Nigeria
2Department of Animal Production and Health, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, P.M.B. 2240, Ogun, Nigeria
3Department of Pasture and Range Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, P.M.B. 2240, Ogun,
Nigeria
4Department of Animal Nutrition, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, P.M.B. 2240, Ogun, Nigeria
ABSTRACT
Background and Objective: The maintenance behaviour of farm animals is a veritable tool to
measure the welfare of the animals. This study in ves tigated the duration and frequency of fe edi ng,
lying, walking and standing of West African Dwarf goats, in responses to the diets containing
incremental sodium humate. Materials and Methods: Experimental diets were formulated containing
sodium humate at 0, 5, 7.5, 10 and 12.5 g kgG1 diet (control, 5, 7.5, 10 and 12.5 HNa). Three animals in
each experimental diet for 90 days were transferred to cages for behavioural observations. Video
recordings from a 12 unit CP PLUS® CCTV camera (Model: CP-ER-1606E2-T) were reviewed for behavioural
parametersusing Boris® software. The results were analysed using one-way ANOVA as outlined in SPSS.
Results: The result reveals a quadratic increase (p<0.05) in the mean duration of feeding in the 7.5 HNa
and 10 HNa groups. Feed intake and the mean duration of standing and walking were reduced (p<0.05)
in the supplemented groups. The frequency of walking decreased (p<0.05) in the sodium humate groups.
However, there was an increase (p<0.05) in the frequency of feeding and standing. Conclusion: It was
concluded that sodium humate has the potential to improve the welfare of West African Dwarf goats
under confinement.
KEYWORDS
Sodium humate, maintenance behaviour, lying, walking, feeding, standing, WAD goats
Copyright © 2022 Timothy T. Ikyume et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the Creative
Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is properly cited.
INTRODUCTION
Social consciousness about the condition of rearing farm animals has become a major alarm in recent
years1. The report of Tremolada et al.2 indicated that animal welfare is a precondition for companies to
develop high-quality and sound animal products for the world market. An important criterion in the
assessment of ruminant welfare i s th e ir m ai n te n an c e b e ha v io u r3 w hi ch i nc lu de s fe e di n g, s ta n di ng , wa l ki n g,
lying etc. Maintenance behaviour refers to activities such as ingestion of feed and water, comfort-seeking
and behaviour related to rest or exploration, all of which typically function to maintain the physiological
ISSN: 1813-0070 (Online) Received: 15 Feb. 2021
https://doi.org/10.17311/asb.2022.69.75 Accepted: 26 Jun. 2021
Published: 01 Jan. 2022
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Asian Sci. Bull., 3 (1): 69-75, 2022
status, comfort and appearance of the animal. Feeding behaviour inclu des d iet sel ecti on an d fe eds i ntak e
and it is the major way by which an animal seeks to fulfil its metabolic needs and achieve homeostasis4.
However, the challenge of obtaining adequate nutrients may differ among individual animals5. The
duration and frequency of lying behaviour and the time spent standing without eating appear to be
probable behavioural indicators of comfort6. Lying time is said to be an important behaviour for dairy
cows and when given the choice, cows will prefer lying down to spending time on other activities such as
feeding and socializing7. Research with humans and other animals suggests that walking benefits physical
health8. Walking supports exploratory behaviour and this has an information-gathering function and may
be rewarding to animals even when not directly linked to the acquisition of resources9,10 this makes it
im po rt ant in ac hi ev in g t he w el fa re of th e a nima ls . B ec au se an imal welfare has become a worldwide issue11,
nutritional st ud ie s must also include the stud y o f w el fare parameters. The major advantage of behavioural
measurements unlike physiological measurements is that they can be easily implemented on the farm12.
In livestock production systems, attention should be given to animal welfare to improve productivity,
quality food safety and economic returns, thereby contributing to food security and economic prosperity.
There is increased interest in the utilization of humates as a feed additive. They have been reported to
have beneficial effects on digestion, growth and the immune system in poultry, swine, goats, sheep and
cattle13,14. However, there is a dearth of information on how it affects the maintenance behaviour of
ruminants, especially the West African Dwarf (WAD) goats. This research, therefore, sought to assess the
maintenance behaviour of WAD goats on incremental levels of sodium humate.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Experimental site and animals: The field experiment was done at the Small Ruminant Experimental Unit
of the Directorate of University Farms (DUFARMS), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeriain
June-September, 2019, while the review of video recordings was carried out in the Postgraduate
Laboratory of the Department of Animal Production and Health, Federal University of Agriculture,
Abeokuta, Nigeria from October-December, 2019. Abeokuta is located in the rainforest vegetation Zone
of South-Western Nigeria at latitude 7E13'49.46"N, longitude 3E26'11.98"E and an altitude of 76 m above
sea level. The climate is humid with a mean annual rainfall of 1037 mm and an annual mean temperature
and humidity of 43.7EC and 82, respectively (Meteorology Department, Ogun, Osun River Basin Authority,
Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria).
The bucks used in this study were purchased from local farmers from Abeokuta and environs. The thirty
West African Dwarf bucks were aged between 10-15 months, with an average weight of 7.19±0.83 kg. On
a rr i va l , t h e a ni m al s we r e g i ve n prophylactic treatment using oxy t et r ac y cl i ne L A ( 1 mL k gG1) against bacteria
disease while Ivomectin LA (1 mL/50 kg) was administered against both external and internal parasites.
The animals were dived into five groups (treatment groups) of six animals each (each animal served as a
replicate). The five groups were allocated to five experimental diets (treatment groups) containing sodium
humate at 0, 5, 7.5, 10 and 12.5 g kgG1 diet (control, 5, 7.5, 10 and 12.5 HNa). Each animal was allotted a
1 m2 pen and allowed to graze daily together for six hrs (9am-3pm) within a confined area containing
sown Panicum maximum. Thereafter, they were supplemented with an experimental diet adopted from
Ikyume et al.15 as shown in Table 1 at 4% of their body weight. Water was provided ad libitum. After
90 days of managing the animals on experimental diets, three animals each from the five groups above
were transferred into another pen fitted with CCTV cameras for feeding behaviour observations. The
assumption is that the experimental diets were capable of influencing the feeding behaviour of the
animals after feeding them for some time, as such the 90 days period was enough to influence the feeding
behaviour of the animals if possible. The three animals per treat ment selected from each of the six animal s
in the groups (experimental groups) above were because the facilities available for behavioural
observations could only support that numbers. The selection also ensued the mean weight of the animals
across the treatment groups was closely related. While in the pen fitted with CCTV cameras, the
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Table 1: Gross composition (%) of experimental concentrate diets15
Treatments (HNa)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ingredients Control 5 7.5 10 12.5
Maize offal 30.00 30.00 30.00 30.00 30.00
Wheat offal 34.00 34.00 34.00 34.00 34.00
Palm kernel cake 32.00 32.00 32.00 32.00 32.00
Bone meal 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00
Vitamin premix 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
Salt 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
HNa - 0.50 0.75 1.00 1.25
Total 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00
Determined analysis
Dry matter 88.00 88.00 88.00 88.00 89.00
Crude protein 14.88 14.01 14.35 14.13 14.61
Crude fibre 9.50 9.50 10.00 9.00 10.00
Ash 5.00 5.40 5.45 6.00 6.50
Ether extract 6.50 8.00 7.50 8.00 7.56
NDF 64.00 65.00 63.00 54.00 55.00
ADF 22.00 23.00 19.00 23.00 20.00
ADL 9.00 8.50 8.00 9.00 7.00
NDF: Neutral detergent fiber, ADF: Acid detergent fiber, ADL: Acid detergent lignin, 5 HNa-5 g kgG1 diet sodium humate inclusion,
7.5 HNa-7.5 g kgG1 diet sodium humate inclusion, 10 HNa-10 g kgG1 diet sodium humate inclusion and 12.5 HNa-12.5 g kgG1 diet
sodium humate inclusion
animals were allowed four days for acclimatization, thereafter, records of maintenance behaviour were
taken for four days using the continuous sampling method of behavioural observations. During the period
of the behavioural observations, about 1 kg of the experimental diets and Panicum maximum were
offered to the animals at a ratio of 70:30. Weighed samples of both Panicum maximum and experimental
diets were offered daily in the morning and afternoon, respectively. The leftover was also weighed at the
end of each day to determine the feed intake. Experimental and animal management procedures were
approved by the Ethics Committee of the College of Animal Science and Livestock Production, Federal
University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria (ethical clearance number COLANIM/APH/PG/14/0107).
Experimental set-up: Maintenance behaviours (standing, lying, feeding, drinking and walking) were
examined 8 hrs/day (8.00-16.00 hrs) for four days of continuous video sampling from three animals per
treatment. Standing was considered to be an inactive upright position (i.e., no locomotion), lying was
considered as body contact with the floor, feeding was considered to be when the head position was over
or in the feeder and drinking was seen as the head position over or in the drinker and walking was
considered as any change in one position to the other within the pen. A 12 unit CP PLUS® CCTV camera
(Model: CP-ER-1606E2-T) was used to record the behaviour of the animals at normal speed (30 frames/s).
The cameras were hung at an angle above the individual pens of the animals to ensure that the entire
space within the pen was visible. Three units of the cameras were hung such that they could cover two
pens each. Video recordings were analyzed in their entirety by one person using Boris® software16 and
individual animal behaviour data on mean duration (per 8 hrs) was obtained. The video was reviewed at
the speed at which it was initially recorded. Feed intake was also recorded during the experiment using
the formula:
Feed intake = Feed of fered-feed left over
Experimental design and model: The experimental design was completely randomized. The treatment
groups comprise of concentrate diet formulated to comprise 0, 5, 7.5, 10 and 12.5 g kgG1 diet. The
statistical model is:
Yij = µ+Tiij (1)
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Where:
Yij = Observed value of the dependent variables (feed intake, eating, lying, walking, standing)
µ=Population mean
Ti= Effect due to level of inclusion of HNa (0, 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5 g kgG1 diet)
£ij = Random residual value
Statistical analysis: The fee d i nt ak e a s w el l a s t he me an du ration a nd fr eq ue nc y o f lying, feeding, walking,
d ri nk in g an d s ta nd in g w as an al yz ed us in g a on e- wa y a na lys is of va ri an ce as co nt ai ne d i n t he gen er al li ne ar
model's procedures of SPSS (version 23) (https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/spss-statistics-230-now-
available-download). The differences in means where applicable we r e s ep a ra t ed u si ng t he G LM pr o ce d ur e
of SPSS (version 23). Probability significance was declared at p<0.05. The polynomial contrast model in
the SPSS was used to determine if the various treatments had linear, quadratic or cubic degree
relationships.
RESULTS
Feed intake and mean duration (min) of the daily behaviour of WAD goats on sodium humate: The
daily mean duration of behavioural reactions of West African Dwarf goats to the diets containing
incremental levels of sodium humate is shown in Table 2. Mean lying and drinking durations were not
affected (p>0.05) by the inclusion of sodium humate in the diets. However, the duration of feeding tended
to linearly increase in the sodium humate groups which had higher (p<0.05) comparable values. The mean
duration of feeding was lower (p<0.05) in the control group. Such an increase in mean feeding duration
in the sodium humate groups tended to decrease at 12.5 g kgG1 diet sodium humate group. Mean
duration for standing and walking were ob served to de crease with sodium humate supplementation.
The control group had higher (p<0.05) mean durations for standing and walking (207.74 and 94.96,
respectively) with lower comparable values of standing and walking observed in the sodium humate
supplemented groups. A linear decrease in the standing and walking duration in the sodium humate
groups did not have any particular pattern as a quadratic relationship was observed.
Mea n frequ ency o f daily maint enance behavi our of WAD goa ts on sodium humate: The result of the
frequency of daily maintenance behaviour of West African Dwarf goats fed a concentrate diet containing
incremental levels of sodium humate is shown in Table 3. Feeding frequency (per 8 hrs daily) increased
(p<0.05) in the sodium humate groups. Least (p<0.05) frequency (62.00) was observed in the control
group, with sodium humate groups having comparable higher (p<0.05) feeding frequency/8 hrs daily
(76.00, 79.00, 76.67, 78.00 for 5, 7.5, 10 and 12.5 HNa, respectively). Standing frequency increased (p<0.05)
in the sodium humate groups (138.00, 137.00, 136.33 and 132.33 for 5, 7.5, 10 and 12.5 HNa, respectively).
Table 2: Feed intake and mean duration (min)/8 hrs daily maintenance behaviour reactions of West African Dwarf goats on diet
containing incremental levels of sodium humate
Treatments (HNa) Polynomial contrast
----------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------
Parameters Control 5 7.5 10 12.5 SEM L Q C
Mean body weight (kg) 9.37 10.35 10.38 10.57 10.08 0.17 NS NS NS
Mean feed intake (kg/goat) 321.69a235.54b223.54b242.73b238.57b10.25 ** ** *
Duration of lying 797.69 803.24 805.62 802.86 800.18 1.17 NS NS NS
Duration of feeding 257.61b266.92ab 272.81a271.97a266.84ab 1.71 * ** NS
Duration of standing 207.74a201.52b202.95ab 200.22b201.47b0.84 ** * NS
Duration of walking 94.96a90.46b90.37b89.47b90.92b0.65 ** * NS
Duration of drinking 17.90 18.25 18.47 17.83 18.20 0.32 NS NS NS
a,bMeans with different superscript along the raw differ significantly (p<0.05), 5 HNa-5 g kgG1 diet sodium humate inclusion, 7.5 HNa-
7.5 g kgG1 diet sodium humate inclusion, 10 HNa-10 g kgG1 diet sodium humate inclusion, 12.5 HNa-12.5 g kgG1 diet sodium humate
inclusion, SEM: Standard error of mean, L: Linear, Q: Quadratic, C: Cubic, **p<0.005, *p<0.05 and NS: Not significant
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Table 3: Mean frequency (number of occurrences)/8 hrs of daily maintenance behaviour reactions of West African Dwarf goats on
diet containing incremental levels of sodium humate
Treatments (HNa) Polynomial contrast
------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------
Parameters Control 5 7.5 10 12.5 SEM L Q C
Frequency of lying 17.67 15.67 16.67 15.00 18.33 3.40 NS NS NS
Frequency of feeding 62.00b76.00a79.00a76.67a78.00a2.52 ** * NS
Frequency of standing 117.00b138.00a137.00a136.33a132.33a10.54 NS * NS
Frequency of walking 136.33a123.67b124.67b125.67b124.33b6.90 NS * NS
Frequency of drinking 23.33 22.33 22.67 23.33 20.67 2.33 NS NS NS
a,bMeans with different superscript along the same row are different (p<0.05), 5 HNa-5 g kgG1 diet sodium humate inclusion,
7.5 HNa-7.5 g kgG1 diet sodium humate inclusion, 10 HNa-10 g kgG1 diet sodium humate inclusion, 12.5 HNa-12.5 g kgG1 di et so di um
humate inclusion, SEM: Standard error of mean, L: Linear, Q: Quadratic, C: Cubic, **p<0.005, *p<0.05 and NS: Not significant
The control group had the least standing frequency (117.00). However, a reverse trend was observed in
walking frequency with the control group having the highest (p<0.05) occurrences (136.33). There was less
(p<0.05) comparable frequency of walking in the sodium humate groups (123.67, 124.67, 125.67 and
124.33 for 5, 7.5, 10 and 12.5 HNa, respectively). The frequency of lying and drinking was not affected
(p<0.05) by the inclusion of sodium humate in the diet.
DISCUSSION
The initiation phase in seeking feed involves a switch in behaviour, usually from one activity to the act of
sourcing and procuring feed. The linear increases in the mean dur ation of fe ed ing obse rv ed in th e s odium
humate groups are an indication that pre-ingestive signals in the supplemented groups were reinforced
to consume the feed. In the report of Ritter17, once pre-ingestive signals reinforce the desire to consume
feed, the ingestive, digestive and absorptive mechanism is activated almost simultaneously and all
function together to augment each other’s satiating effects. An increase in the mean duration of feeding
in some of the supplemented groups may have been a result of the action of sodium humate to improve
pH and decrease ammonia in grazing WAD goats18. Lower pH is reported to increase osmotic pressure
in the rumen which can induce satiety thereby, decreasing the duration of feeding19. The increase in the
mean duration of feeding in this current study did not, however, follow a particular trend in the
supplemented groups (some humate groups were similar to the control) which explains the quadratic
relation observed. Such an increase in mean duration may be associated with a possible reduction in
rumen ammonia with sodium humate as previously reported. These findings collaborate with the fact that
ammonium which is an end product of fermentation during silage production is associated with a
decrease in silage intake20. Th e d ec re as e i n s ta nding an d w al ki ng du ra ti on ob se rved in th e sodium humate
supplemented groups could be that the animals spent most of their active period during the day in
feeding and lying. This is also true as the lying period was numerically increased in all experimental
groups. There have been reports of the beneficial effect of humic acids in the management of stress in
animals21. This effect may have been responsible for the increased duration of feeding since animals may
have been leisurely eating their rations. This is to say that animals on humate may be less aggressive in
their feeding behaviour and would spend more time eating to satisfy their nutritional requirement than
standing and walking around.
The frequency of maintenance behaviour has been correlated with the mean duration of the behavioural
responses. For instance, cows fed more frequently spent more time feeding and lower dry matter
intake22,23. This may have been the case in this current study. As the frequency of feeding increased in the
sodium humate groups, dry matter intake decreased with a potential increase in the duration of
feeding. Under a semi-intensive management system, the dry matter intake of WAD goats was reduced15
which is consistent with the decrease observed during the behavioural observation.
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Standing is regarded as a measure of comfort6, the greater frequency of standing is an indication that
sodium humate improved the comfort of the animals. Recall that West African Dwarf goats are browsers
and are often not adapted to confinement. This trait may have been the reason the animals on the control
diet had a higher frequency of walking compared to those in the humate group. That is to say that with
the inclusion of sodium humate in the diet of these goats, they may be more adapted to confinement.
More standing frequency in sodium humate groups than walking implies the animals were less aggressive
and this supports the finding of leisure in dairy cattle on humate rations21. The implication of these
findings will be that for ruminant species such as WAD goats that are usually not adapted easily to
confinement, the inclusion of sodium humate up to 12.5 g kgG1 diet in their diet will provide for easy
adaptability to confinement. However, it is important to investigate the performance of these animals in
confinement for a longer period with sodium humate in their diets.
CONCLUSION
The supplementation of sodium humate improved the welfare of West African Dwarf goats. The West
African Dwarf goats are browsers and as such are not well adapted to confinement. The use of sodium
humate in their diet can be a good strategy for improving the welfare of the animals under confinement.
In achieving this, only a 5 g kgG1 diet of sodium humate is sufficient when the cost of production is
considered.
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