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University of Fort Hare (2009)

Communal production systems of goats raised by resource-poor farmers in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

Gwaze, Francisca Rumosa

Titre : Communal production systems of goats raised by resource-poor farmers in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

Auteur : Gwaze, Francisca Rumosa

Université de soutenance : University of Fort Hare

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy PhD (Livestock and Pasture Science) 2009

Résumé
Goats significantly contribute towards the subsistence, economic and social livelihoods of many resource-poor farmers in developing countries, the majority of which own goats. There, however, is dearth of information on communal goat production potential and roles to the rural populace. The broad objective of the study was to evaluate production practices, constraints, production efficiency and to determine nutritional and health status of goats raised by resource-poor communal farmers in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Roles and management systems of goats, goat flock dynamics and, prevalence and loads of gastrointestinal infections and the nutritional status of goats in the study areas were determined. The relationships among body weight, body condition score, faecal egg counts and, haematological and biochemical profiles were also determined. Mean goat flock sizes per household were similar between the two districts studied ; Amatole (14.0 ± 0.31) and Alfred Nzo (14.1 ± 1.42). Seventy-nine percent of households in Amatole and 78% in Alfred Nzo kept goats for ceremonies, such as the initiation ceremonies. Goat houses in the two districts were poorly constructed. Thirty two percent of farmers in Alfred Nzo district and 27% in Amatole district reported low buck to doe ratios, suggesting that inbreeding might have been reducing productivity of their flocks. Kid mortality had two major peaks ; in May (21%) and in September (21%). Goat production potential (GPP), the proportion of mature and growing goats to the total flock size, was affected by gender of owner of goats. Goats owned by female had a significantly lower GPP value of 0.63 ± 0.015 than goats owned by male farmers (0.70 ± 0.010). Month also significantly affected GPP with the highest (P < 0.05) GPP recorded in May, June and July and the lowest in March and April. Village affected GPP with values for Nkosana and Qawukeni being significantly higher than for Mankone. Goat production potential was also higher (P < 0.05) in small flocks (0.04 ± 0.008) than in large flocks (0.02 ± 0.008). Goat production efficiency (GPE) ranged from 0.11 ± 0.193 in April to 1.55 ± 0.193 in December. The most prevalent gastrointestinal eggs were the strongyle egg type (68.4 ± 8.49 in Qawukeni and 96.1 ± 12.01 in Nkosana) followed by coccidia (53.3 ± 8.76 in Qawukeni and 68.8 ± 8.00 in Mankone). The other identified nematodes were Strongyloides and Trichostrongylus egg types. The trematodes observed were Fasciola and Paramphistomum species. High loads of strongyle eggs were observed in the hot-wet season and the post-rainy season, whilst the other egg types showed a peak in the hot-wet season only. For most of the gastrointestinal parasite eggs, prevalence was higher (P < 0.05) in the sour rangeland compared to the sweet rangeland. Higher (P < 0.05) levels of total protein (TP), globulin, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and creatinine kinase (CK) levels were recorded in the wet than in the dry season. Body condition scores were positively correlated (P < 0.05) to albumin, body weight and packed cell volume. However, body condition scores were negatively correlated to TP, glucose, alanine transaminase (ALT) and AST. Strongyle egg loads were positively correlated to FAMACHA scores, packed cell volume, body weight and body condition score. The observed high globulin levels suggested a chronic health challenge. Thus, it is fundamental to devise affordable interventions for the control of gastrointestinal parasites in communal goats leading to improved goat productivity and hence rural livelihood

Mots clés : Goat production ; Subsistence farming ; Communal farming ; Rural poor

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