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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted
doi: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.16.0334    [Accepted]
The Effects of Grazing System and Floor type on Blood Biochemistry, Growth, Body Condition Score and Carcass Characteristics of Nguni Goats
Allen Tapiwa Chikwanda1,2, Voster Muchenje1,*
1Department of Livestock and Pasture Science, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Fort Hare, , Alice, South Africa
2Animal Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Bindura University of Science Education No. 741 Chimurenga Road P Bag 1020, Bindura, Zimbabwe
* Corresponding Author: Voster Muchenje ,Tel: +27406022059, Fax: +27 086 628 2967 , Email: vmuchenje@ufh.ac.za,
Received: April 28, 2016;  Revised: June 19, 2016.  Accepted: December 10, 2016.  Published online December 17, 2016.

ABSTRACT
The study was conducted to determine the effects of grazing management (tethering vs herding) and floor type (earth vs slatted) on the concentrations of blood metabolites, activity of creatine kinase, body weight (BW), body condition score (BCS) and carcass characteristics of castrated Nguni goats. Forty eight, 7 month old goats were randomly allocated to herding (H) and tethering (T) treatments and accommodated in pens with slatted (SF) and earth (EF) floors. The T and H treatments were imposed daily, for 5 months, between 0800- 1300 hours followed by penning. Blood sampling was done at 0700 hours once every two weeks by jugular venipuncture, processed into plasma or serum and analysed for the metabolites. Body weights were measured in the morning soon after every bleeding session. Grazing system significantly (P < 0.05) affected BCS, body weights and all the measured blood metabolites except activity of CK. Herded goats had higher (P<0.05) mean body weights (24.56±0.351 vs 22.60±0.344 kg) and BCS (3.25±0.022 vs 3.17±0.022) than the tethered group. Tethered goats had higher (P<0.05) urea (5.11±0.073 vs 4.61±0.074 mmol/L) and the TE group had the highest: creatinine (57.53 ± 0.0850µmol/L), total protein (66.20 ± 0.767 g/L), globulin (51.76 ± 0.759 g/L). On the other hand, herded goats had higher (P<0.05) plasma glucose (3.39±0.020 vs 3.23±0.020 mmol/L), serum albumin (15.30±0.147 v 14.82±0.144 g/L). The interaction of grazing system by week of sampling significantly affected the concentrations of urea (P < 0.0001); creatinine and glucose (P < 0.001); and total protein (P < 0.05). It was concluded that serum concentrations of all the metabolites were sensitive to grazing system. Herding system resulted in more glucose, preservation of muscle protein, superior body weights and BCS than tethered goats.
Keywords: Blood Biochemistry; Floor type; Grazing system; Goat
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