Current Issues| Volume 20 (2) May 2018

  Original Articles

Frequencies of the transferring alleles and genotypes in West African Dwarf Goats of Southwestern Nigeria

Awobajo, O. K. Salako, A. E. Osaiyuwu, O. H. Akinyemi, M. O. Pg 1-5


The aim of this study was to determine the frequencies of Transferrin alleles and genotypes in West African Dwarf (WAD) goat. 140 adult WAD goats, maintained in four Southwestern States of Nigeria were used in the study. The polymorphism of transferrin was determined using Cellulose Acetate electrophoresis technique. It was found that the transferrin was controlled by two codominant alleles (TfA and TfB) in WAD goats. These two alleles, because of the codominant nature of inheritance, control the occurrence of three transferrin genotypes in the analyzed populations. The first two (TfAA and TfBB) were homozygous while the third one (TfAB) was heterozygous. The TfAB genotype was predominant with frequency of 0.90, 1.00, 0.87 and 0.55 in Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo States respectively with a mean frequency of 0.83±0.20 while TfBB genotype was least common except for population from Osun State with a frequency of 0.05, 0.00, 0.22 and 0.15 in Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo States respectively with a mean frequency of 0.08±0.07. The frequencies of transferrin alleles were 0.50, 0.50, 0.45 and 0.58 for TfA and 0.50, 0.50, 0.55and 0.43 for TfB in Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo States respectively with a mean frequency of 0.49±0.05. Transferrin system showed genetic equilibrium in the analyzed population (χ2 value = 1.780). The observed heterozygosity was 0.91, 1.00, 0.87 and 0.55 43 in Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo States respectively with a mean frequency of 0.84 and average Fis value of -0.67.
Keywords: Cellulose Acetate electrophoresis technique, Genotypes, Polymorphism, Transferrin alleles, West African Dwarf goat

Department of Agricultural Science, Tai Solarin University of Education, P. M. B. 2118, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Animal Breeding and Genetics Laboratory, Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Corresponding author’s email:


Morphometric characterization of West African Dwarf Sheep in Remo zone of Ogun State

Awobajo, O. K Pg 6-15


The study attempted application of morphometric parameters in the assessment of phenotypic variation among West African Dwarf sheep in Three (3) Local Government Area (LGA) of Remo province in Ogun State using phenotypic traits namely, Horn Length (HL), Head Width (HW), Head Length (HDL), Shoulder Width (SW), `Foreleg Length (FL), Hearth Girth (HG), Rump Length (RL), Pauch Girth (PG), Wither Heart (WH), Tail Length (TL), Ear Length (EL), Thorax Depth (TD) and Body Length (BL). Data were collected from 150 sheep comprising of male and female animals. Analysis was done using SPSS (2001) statistical package to obtain the means, standard deviations, standard error and coefficient of variation from the data collected which was subsequently used for classification. The result showed no significant different (P < 0.05) for all the phenotypic traits measured across all the LGA except EL, HDL and HG that were significantly different (p < 0.05) in Ikenne and Sagamu LGA. The mean for EL, HDL and HG ranged between 9.88 cm in Ikenne LGA and 10.64 cm in Remo LGA, from 23.28 cm in Ikenne LGA to 24.62 cm in Remo LGA and from 26.88 cm in Ikenne LGA to 29.00 cm in Sagamu LGA respectively showing the variation in the population studied.

Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, P. M. B 2118, Ogun State, Nigeria

Corresponding author’s email:


Correlations between blood markers and growth parameters in establishing marker bank for Black colour Nigerian local Turkey

Nosike, R.J. Onunkwo, D.N. Ezike, J.C. Amaraduruonye, W. Obasi, E.N. Obike, O.M. Nwakpu, O. F. Ibe, S.N. Oke, U.K Pg 16-25


A total of 26 day-old random-bred Nigerian local black phenotype turkey poults were used to generate another 86 day-old F1 poults in the study to determine quantitative traits and biologic markers. The Nigerian local turkeys were obtained as base population and used to generate F1 progeny. Growth parameters namely; body length (BDL), shank length (SHL), keel length (KLL), breast width (BW), wing length (WGL) and drumstick length (DSL) were measured. Biologic markers, namely packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin (Hb), white blood cell (WBC), red blood cell (RBC), total blood protein (TBP), blood glucose (BGC) and rectal temperature (RT) were determined. Body weight, growth parameters and markers had significant (p<0.05) relationship. The marker bank showed that markers common to the black phenotype were PCV, WBC and Hb. These could be used in Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS) for the black turkey variety studied. It was therefore, concluded that for rapid improvement of these traits, the markers such as BPT, RT, RBC, BGC, WBC, PCV and HB could be used to enhance growth. The present findings could assist in the design of long-term genetic improvement programmes for turkey production in Nigeria using the marker bank for MAS.
Keywords: Black local turkey, blood markers, marker bank, growth parameters

Department of Animal Breeding and Physiology, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria

Department of Animal Nutrition and Forage science, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria.

Corresponding author’s email:


Phenotypic Characterization of Balami Breed of Sheep in Maiduguri, North-Eastern Nigeria

Dauda A. Okon B. Ibom L. A. Abbaya H. Y. Pg 26-32


A total of 227 Balami breeds (50 males and 177 females) were randomly sampled from the population of Balami sheep for body characterization. The study evaluated morphometric characteristics of Balami sheep to check the effect of age, sex, correlation and descriptive statistics The morphometric characteristics evaluated were; body weight (BW), body length (BL), height at wither (HW), chest circumference (CC), head length (HDL), head width (HDW), ear length (EL), horn length (HNL), horn circumference (HNC), tail length (TL), rump width (RW), rump length (RL), foreleg (FLG), hind leg (HLG), height at rump (HTR) and neck length (NL).The result revealed that age has significant (p<0.005) effect on morphometric characteristics of Balami sheep. Increase in age lead to increase in morphometric characteristics. Sex also has significant (p<0.005) influence on morphometric traits. Male shows superiority over female in HDW, EL, TL, FLG, HLG, NL RL, HTR, HNL and HNC. Females were high in HW and CC. Skeletal measurements such as wither height, and chest circumference are less affected by nutrition and thus indicate inherent size better than measures related to muscle and fat deposition such as girth measurements and body weight. The phenotypic correlation of morphometric characteristics of Balami sheep in this study varied in magnitude and direction. BW showed positive correlation with all the morphometric traits except HDL. The positive correlation of BW with other traits showed that they are controlled by same gene.
Keywords: Balami, Phenotypic, Characterization, Sheep

Department of Animal Science, University of Calabar P.M.B 1115, Calabar, Nigeria

Department of Animal Production, Adamawa State University (ADSU), P. M. B. 025, Mubi, Adamawa State, Nigeria

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Phenotypic Differentiation of Koroji Sheep in Maiduguri

Dauda A. Abbaya H. Y. Shettima S. M. Saul S. Pg 33-41


A total of 250 (70 males and 180 females) were used for characterization. This study evaluated phenotypic and morphometric characteristics of Koroji sheep. Effect of age, sex, correlation and overall summary statistics were analyzed. Some of the morphometric characteristics taken were; body weight (BW), body length (BL), height at wither (HW), chest circumference (CC), head length (HDL), head wide (HDW), ear length (EL), horn length (HNL), horn circumference (HNC), tail length (TL), rump wide (RW), rump length (RL), height at rump (HR), foreleg (FLG), hind leg (HLG), height at rump (HTR) and neck length (NL).Body weight was measured with measuring tape while the morphometric characteristic was measured with measuring tape. The data was analyzed using general Linear Model Procedure of SAS. The result revealed that age and sex had significant (p<0.005) effect on morphometric characteristics of Koroji sheep with males and older animals showing superiority over females and younger ones. The Coefficient of Variation (CV) ranged from 8.56- 33.63) with Horn Length having the highest (33.63) while HL had the lowest (8.56). Pearson correlation obtained between parameters varied in magnitude and direction (p<0.05-0.01: r = -0.31 to 0.97). It was concluded that sex and age should be considered when designing a selection and breeding programs for Koroji sheep.
Keywords: Koroji, Phenotypic, Age, Sheep, Sex

Department of Animal Science, University of Calabar, P.M.B 1115, Calabar, Nigeria

Department of Animal Production, Adamawa State University (ADSU), P. M. B. 025, Mubi, Adamawa State, Nigeria

Department of Animal Science, University of Maiduguri P.M.B 1069 Maiduguri, Nigeria

Corresponding author’s email:


Genetic diversity between Exotic and Nigerian indigenous Turkey at different Structural Loci

Folorunsho, C. Y. Salako, A. E. Osaiyuwu, O. H. Pg 42-53


Poultry genetic resources in general are considered to be the most endangered and under-conserved, detailed attention is therefore needed on the existing genetic resources to reduce or prevent the increasing genetic erosion of local livestock. This study was conducted to characterize and estimate genetic diversity in Nigerian indigenous turkey and exotic turkey using blood proteins (Haemoglobin, Transferrin and Albumin) and enzyme (Carbonic Anhydrase and Esterase 1) markers. A total of 110 turkeys comprising 50 Nigerian indigenous turkeys and 60 exotic turkeys were used for the analysis. Separation of blood protein genotypes was achieved using cellulose acetate electrophoresis. The populations were characterized for their genetic variability using allele frequencies, observed heterozygosity, F-statistics (FIT, FIS, FST), test for Hardy-Weinberg and Genetic distance. Eleven variants were found at the five loci studied, two co-dominant allele A and B controlling three genotypes AA, AB, and BB were observed at Haemoglobin, Carbonic Anhydrase, Albumin and Esterase1 loci for both indigenous and exotic turkey breeds, a third allele C was observed in Transferrin locus. Allele A was the most frequency at the Hb, CA, Alb and Es1 locus in Nigerian indigenous turkey with frequencies 0.541, 0.541, 0.520, and 0.520 respectively and exotic turkey at Hb, Alb, and Es1 with frequencies 0.508, 0.617, and 0.508 respectively. Chi Square result indicated deviations from Hardy Weinberg equilibrium in the two populations. The average heterozygosity values were 0.56 and 0.477 indicating high genetic variability, heterozygote excess FIT was estimated at -0.050 while within breed excess as evaluated by FIS ranged from 0.370 to -0.336. The fixation index FST revealed that genetic diversity within the studied population was slightly differentiated. Genetic distance among the populations quantified through calculation of Nei’s Genetic distance was 0.008 while the identity was 0.992. Similarity in the estimated genetic variability parameters between the breeds indicates that the populations are closely related and there were no appreciable differences among them. This result obtained may be used as an initial guide in defining objectives for further investigations of genetic diversity and developing conservation strategies.
Keywords: Electrophesis; Genetic distance; Polymorphism; Structural loci.

Breeding and Genetics Unit, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Corresponding author’s email: Phone no: +234-7065154960


Potentials of Genotype, Varied Levels of Roxazyme G® Enzyme and their interaction on two genetic stocks of Commercial Broiler Chickens, i.e. growth performance and carcass traits

Amao, S.R. Pg 54-63


The growth performance and carcass traits of two commercial broiler stocks were evaluated on the basis of genotype potentials, varied levels of roxazyme G® enzyme and their interaction. A total of 240 day – old broiler chicks (120 of each of Arbor acre and Marshall birds) were used for this study. The chicks were fed on four experimental diets; 0 g/ton, 100 g/ton, 200 g/ton and 300 g/ton. Data were collected on average bodyweight, daily weight gain, daily feed intake, daily water intake, feed conversion ratio (growth performance) and liveweight, bled weight, defeathered weight, eviscerated weight, breast weight, thigh weight, wing weight, shank weight (primal cuts), gizzard, kidney, heart, liver, abdominal fat (edible visceral organs) and analysed with General Model of SAS in completely randomized designed. Results showed that Arbor acre strain was significantly (P < 0.05) favoured for body weight, daily weight gain, daily feed intake and daily water intake compared with Marshall birds. Birds fed diets supplemented with roxazyme G® enzyme, especially 300 g/ton gave a higher body weight, daily weight gain, daily feed intake and daily water intake. Also, for carcass traits, Arbor acre had significantly (P < 0.05) higher live weight, bled weight, defeathered weight, eviscerated weight, breast weight, thigh weight, wing weight, shank weight, kidney, heart and abdominal fat than the Marshall birds. It can be concluded that Arbor acre birds were better in respect of growth performance and carcass traits with enzymes interaction. Besides, enzyme inclusion levels of up to 300 g/ton made meaningful responses for growth performance and carcass characteristics.
Keywords: Genotype, roxazyme G®, broilers, growth performance, carcass traits

Department of Agricultural Education (Animal Science Division; Animal Breeding and Genetics Unit), School of Vocational and Technical Education, P.M.B.1010, Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo, Oyo State, Nigeria.

Corresponding author’s email:;


Influence of Prebiotics, Probiotics or Synbiotics on Performance, Intestinal Mucosal Integrity and Gut Microbiota of Turkey Poults

Omidiwura, B. R. O Agboola A. F, Olaleye, O. O Iyayi, E. A. Pg 64-75


In a four-week experiment, 125 four-week old turkey poults were distributed into five dietary treatment groups: treatment 1 was basal diet while 2, 3, 4 and 5 contained antibiotics, prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics (combination of prebiotics and probiotics) respectively. Each diet replicated five times in a completely randomised design. At day 56, poults were sacrificed and ileal digesta samples collected for microbial load count and sections from the ileum for histomorphological measurements using standard procedures. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA at α0.05. The results showed similar feed intake for birds fed experimental diets except those supplemented with synbiotics which was significantly different. The villus height; crypt depth, villus width, villus:crypt ratio except the epithelial cell thickness were significantly influenced. The final weight, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, protein efficiency ratio of the birds and the microbial load were not influenced by the diets. However, the results obtained from the histological indices showed that birds fed prebiotics, probiotics or synbiotics supplementations respectively performed better compared to birds fed antibiotics and basal diets. Therefore, probiotics, prebiotics or synbiotics can be a suitable replacement as growth promoters to conventional antibiotics in turkey poults.
Keywords: Antibacterial growth promoters, Histomorphological measurements, Ileal digesta, Turkey chicken

Department of Animal Nutrition, Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Corresponding author’s email:; +234-708-207-7886


Evaluation of fermentation profiles of starches from different plant sources in an in vitro batch culture

Adeleye, O.O Iji, P.A Pg 76-84


The influence of starches containing different levels of resistant starch (RS) on short chain fatty acid formation after fermentation was investigated in an in vitro batch culture. Native starches of sago, sweet potato, potato, arrowroot, rice, wheat, corn, as well as tapioca, cassava pulp and sweet potato root meal were evaluated in buffered caecal inoculum of 28-day old broiler chicks using the cumulative gas production technique. Total starch (TS), resistant starch (RS), short chain fatty acids: acetic, propionic and butyric acids. Short chain fatty acid ratios and fermentation ratios were estimated. Total and resistant starch content of the test starches and their short chain fatty acid profile: acetic, propionic and butyric acids- varied (p<0.05) amongst test starches. There was a strong relationship observed between proportions of acetic, butyric and propionic acids and total short chain fatty acids with R2 values ranging from 0.97 to 0.99, However a weak relationship exist between proportions of acetic, butyric and propionic acids and resistant starch contents of the starches with R2 ranging from 0.19 to 0.22, highlighting that variations in short chain fatty acid profiles of the fermented starches investigated in vitro was due to plant source rather than RS content of the test starches.
Keywords: Native starch; Resistant starch; Short chain fatty acids; Fermentation ratios; Caecal inoculum

Agricultural Biochemistry and Nutrition Unit, Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

University of New England, School of Environmental and Rural Sciences, Armidale, NSW, Australia

Corresponding author’s email: Tel: +234 8037074723


Effect of two direct-fed microbials and mycotoxin binder on performance and blood parameters of weaned pigs

Adesehinwa A. O. K E. Ajayi A. A. Fatufe O. A. Adeleye J. O. Abiola Pg 85-91


The study was conducted to evaluate the effect of multi-strain direct-fed microbials, mycotoxin binder and yeast culture on the growth performance and blood parameters of weaned pigs. Sixty four (64) crossbred (Landrace × Large White) weaned pigs with an average initial weight of 5.9 ±0.3 kg (± SE) were assigned to four dietary treatments in a completely randomised design. Each treatment had four replicates of four pigs each. Pigs on T1 were given control diet without any additive, while pigs on T2, T3 and T4 were fed the same diet as in T1, to which multi-strain direct-fed microbials, mycotoxin binder (bentonite) and yeast culture were added respectively and the study lasted for 56 days. There were significant (P<0.05) differences in daily feed intake and daily weight gains, thereby resulting in variation in the final body weights across the groups. Pigs on T2 had the highest daily feed intake (kg) and cost of feed consumed per day (₦) but had the least feed conversion ratio and feed cost per kilogram weight gain (N/kg). The highest final body weight (20.90kg) was observed in pigs on treatment 2, while the least final body weight of 16.95kg was recorded with for pigs on treatment 4. The haematological parameters were within the normal range for healthy pigs and there was a significant effect of the feed additives on the serum biochemical parameters such as AST, ALT, ALP, glucose and albumin. It could be concluded that multi-strain direct-fed microbial promoted growth over and above the mycotoxin binder and yeast culture in weaned pigs and none of the feed additives had any deleterious effect on the health status of the weaned pigs.
Keywords: Direct fed microbials, bentonite, feed additives, pigs, blood

Livestock Improvement Programme, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ibadan. Nigeria.

Department of Animal Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Nigeria.

Department of Animal Production and Health, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. Nigeria.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan. Nigeria.

Corresponding author’s email:


Influence of Doe Exposure on the Spermiogram of Rabbit Bucks

S.O.Ereke O.M Daudu M. Abdulrashid Pg 92-100


The spermiogram of rabbit bucks exposed to rabbit does was evaluated. Seventy five mature rabbits comprising of 50 nulliparous does, 6-7 months old and 25 bucks, 8-10 months old, mixed breeds (New Zealand white, Carlifonia white, Chinchilla and Grey) were used for this study. The animals were allocated to five treatment groups in a completely randomised design (CRD). Each treatment consisted of 10 nulliparous does and five bucks. The does were placed in cages opposite the bucks separated by a distance of 2.5 cm at a ratio of 2 does: 1 buck. The treatment effect consisted of exposing the does to the bucks’ pheromonal cues at different durations (days) to synchronize the does prior to mating. Treatment 1 served as the control group, the does in this group recieved instant mating without buck exposure. In Treatment 2, the rabbit does were exposed to the bucks for seven days and then mated. Treatment 3 had does and bucks which were mated after 14 days of exposure. Treatment 4 were exposed for 21 days and mated thereafter, while Treatment 5 had rabbit does and bucks which were mated after 28 days of exposure. Semen was collected from the bucks on weekly basis for evaluation. The result showed that there were significant (P<0.05) differences in reaction time, sperm motility, percentage live sperm, percentage dead sperm and percentage coiled tails in the bucks’s semen exposed to the does from the control, indicating a positive influence of the doe exposure on the spermiogramic characteristics of rabbit bucks. Hence, this study suggests that exposing rabbit does to bucks prior to mating improves the reproductive performance of the bucks.
Keywords: Bucks, Does, Exposure, Mating, Rabbits

1National Animal Production Research Institute, Ahmadu Bello University, PMB 1096, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria.

Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Corresponding author’s email:,,, Phone No. +2348109947061


Effect of Dietary L-Tryptophan Supplementation on Growth Performance and Serum Metabolites of Weaner Pigs

Alaba. O Ogunrinde O. O. A Sokunbi Adejumo A. D. Pg 101-107


The effect of dietary L-tryptophan supplementation on growth performance and serum metabolites of weaner pigs was studied using a total of 12 male pigs weaned at 28 days of age. Four different diets with graded inclusion levels of 0.0, 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3% L-tryptophan/kg to corn-soyabean meal based diets were fed to a group of 3 piglets each. Pigs were allotted in a completely randomized design Experimental diets and water were supplied ad libitum for the period of six weeks. After the feeding trial, weekly growth performance (body weight gain, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio), haematological parameters and serum indices were determined. Increased dietary tryptophan supplementation significantly (P<0.05) affected only the lymphocytes and eosinophils among all haematological indices examined and there was no significant (P>0.05) difference in all serum indices measured. Total feed intake was significantly (P<0.05) affected by all the parameters measured for growth indices. This experiment showed that dietary tryptophan improved the growth performance and health status of weaner pigs.
Keywords: Tryptophan, Growth performance, Blood parameters, Weaner pigs.

Animal Physiology and Bioclimatology Unit, Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Corresponding author’s email:; Mobile: +2347054634435


Evaluation of viability and cytoplasmic droplets in sperm cells harvested from the dromedary cauda epididymis

Abdussamad, A.M. Bako, H.M. Kalla, D.J.U. Pg 108-117


The objective of the present study was to evaluate viability and cytoplasmic droplets (CD) in camel epididymal sperm cells. Epididymal samples from 7 adult male camels were utilized. The cauda epididymis was immersed in saline, minced and allowed to stand. It was filtered and an aliquot was stained with Eosin-Nigrosin stain. A smear was made on two slides, one each for the left and right epididymides. Twenty different fields per slide were examined using a microscope equipped with an eyepiece camera. The numbers of stained (dead) and unstained (living) cells were counted and reported as paired live-dead counts. Chi-square test for independence was carried out and viability was found to be associated with presence of CD. A reasonable proportion of live sperm cells (1824/2362) were recorded. Live spermatozoa with distal CD were higher in number (969/1824) than those with no droplets (641/1824) and those with proximal CD (214/1824). For the dead spermatozoa, a higher count of spermatozoa with no CD (346/538) followed by those with distal CD (143/538) and lastly those with proximal CD (49/538) was observed. It can be concluded that viability of camel spermatozoa was encouraging; hence, the possibility of its use in assisted reproductive technologies.
Keywords: Assisted reproduction, cytoplasmic droplets, epididymal sperm, male camel

Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Bayero University Kano, P.M.B. 3011, Kano State, Nigeria

Department of Animal Production, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, P.M.B. 0248, Bauchi, Nigeria

Corresponding author’s email:; Mobile: +2347054634435


Effect of melatonin administration on conception rate and biochemical properties of the epididymis in West African Dwarf (WAD) ewes and rams, respectively in dry season

Uwaeziozi, U. C. Ewuola, E.O. Bitto, I.I. Pg 119-126


The effect of melatonin administration on conception rate and biochemical properties of the epididymis in West African Dwarf (WAD) ewes and ram respectively were investigated in an experiment with twenty-four sheep (16 ewes and 8 rams) aged, 12 - 18 months, with average weight of 16.5 ± 2kg. Animals were randomly allotted to four treatment groups, each group consisting of six animals and varied doses of melatonin were administered for 30 days. Melatonin was administered at 0mg (T1, control), 5mg (T2), 10mg (T3) and 15mg(T4) to each group, which contained 4 ewes and 2 rams for 30 consecutive days. Twenty-five percent (25%) and fifty percent (50%) conception rate were observed in ewes that received 10 mg and 15 mg of melatonin, respectively. One fetus was obtained from a single ewe in those administered 10mg melatonin, while two fetuses from two ewes , were obtained from those on 15 mg melatonin. Lactate dehydrogenase, was significantly (P<0.05) higher in rams administered 15mg (917.50iu/L) than those on 0mg, 5mg and 10mg melatonin respectively. Lactate dehydrogenase of rams on 5mg, and 10mg (435.50iu/L and 655.50iu/L, respectively) melatonin treatment were significantly (P<0.05) higher than those in control group (375.50iu/L). Total cholesterol was significantly (P<0.05) higher in rams receiving 0mg, 5mg and 10mg melatonin than those that received 15mg melatonin treatment. Glucose was significantly (P<0.05) higher on animals that received 10mg (17.00mg/dL) melatonin compared to those on 0mg (12.00mg/dL), 5mg(12.50mg/dL) and 15mg(11.65mg/dL). Zinc was significantly (P<0.05) higher in animals administered 10mg and 15mg melatonin, however both were significantly different from animals on 0mg, and 5mg melatonin. The paired epididymis, sperm reserves of rams on 15mg (21.50 X 106 cell/mL) melatonin treatment was significantly (P<0.05) higher than those on 0mg (11.20±1.36), 5mg (6.47±1.36), and 10mg (0.90±1.36). No Significant difference was observed in Total Protein, Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Magnesium and calcium in all the treatment groups. In conclusion exogenous melatonin influenced the conception rate of ewes and improved the quality of epididymal sperm cells of the rams in the dry season.
Keywords: Melatonin; epididymal biochemical properties; sperm reserves; West African Dwarf sheep; Dry season

Animal Physiology and Bioclimatology, Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Department of Animal Physiology, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State

Corresponding author’s email:


Effects of housing systems and different dietary proprietary vitamin-mineral premixes on performance characteristics and haematology of pullets from weeks 10 to 21

Ojelade, A. Y. P O. A. Ogunwole Pg 127-139

Effects of two housing systems (HS) and five dietary Proprietary vitamin-mineral premixes (Pvmp) on performance characteristics, haematology and selected serum biochemical indices of pullets from week 10 to 21 of life was investigated. Bovan nera pullets (n = 576) aged 16 weeks were divided into two equal portions of 288 pullets. Each portion was managed in conventional battery cage systems (BCS) and an open-sided deep litter system (DLS), respectively. Pullets were allotted to six dietary treatments of 48 pullets per treatment both in BCS and DLS. Each treatment was replicated six times with eight pullets per replicate. Six isocaloric and isonitrogenous diets were formulated: T1 was without test premix, while T2, T3, T4, T5 and T6 were each supplemented appropriately with 0.25% premixes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, respectively. The experiment was a 2 x 6 factorial arrangement in a completely randomised design. Effect of HS on final liveweight (FLW), daily feed intake (DFI), number of eggs produced (EP) and hen day egg production (HDEP) were significant (p<0.05). The DFI of pullets increased linearly in DLS (R2=0.82) (p<0.05) and BCS (R2=0.57). The HDEP (%) in BCS (8.19) was higher (p<0.05) than in DLS (3.95). Dietary Pvmp increased (p<0.05) HDEP from 3.18 in pullets on T1 to 5.58 (T3), 5.90 (T4), 6.96 (T6), 7.24 (T5) and 7.54 (T2). Pullets in both BCS and DLS laid first egg at day 122 of life. However, dietary Pvmp led to significantly varied (p>0.05) onset of laying from 122 to 131 days. Effects of interaction of HS and Pvmp on FLW, EP and HDEP were significant (p<0.05). Haematological indices of pullets in both HS were similar (p>0.05) but varied significantly (p<0.05) with dietary Pvmp as well as interactions of HS and Pvmp. Therefore, effect of HS, type of dietary Pvmp and the interactions of HS and Pvmp influenced the performance characterics of pullets in this study.
Keywords: Hen day egg production, Deep litter system, Battery cage system, Laying pullets, Blood differential counts

Department of Agricultural Education, Federal College of Education (Tehnical), Akoka, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria

Agricultural Biochemistry and Nutrition Unit, Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Corresponding author’s email: