Effects of water deprivation on the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in Nguni goats.
Ndlela, Sithembile Zenith.
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The broad objective of the study was to determine the effects of water deprivation on prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in Nguni goats. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 285 farmers that kept goats from KwaNongoma in Zululand district in South Africa. Data collected included household demographics, goat production constraints, extent of water scarcity, disease challenges and prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites. Varying periods of water deprivation (0, 24 and 48 hours) on water intake, feed intake, body weight, body condition score, FAMACHA, faecal egg counts and faecal larval counts were determined. Government grant was the main source of income for households experiencing no water shortages (60 %) and those experiencing water shortages (65 %). All households kept goats for traditional ceremonies. The mean goat flock sizes were not significantly different (P > 0.05) between households that did not face water shortages (14.7 ± 1.25) and households that experienced water shortages (13.2 ± 1.23). Goats in households experiencing water shortages were 11.0 times more likely to experience water scarcity than goats from households facing no water shortages (P < 0.05). Coccidia and roundworms were the most prevalent parasites in goats from households experiencing water shortages. From the experiment, daily water intake (DWI) was the same in goats deprived of water for 0 (control) and 24 and 48 hours (P > 0.05). The daily feed intake (DFI) and the DWI: DFI ratio deprived of water for 0 and 24 hours was similar (P > 0.05). The FEC was the same in goats deprived of water for 0 and 24 hours (P > 0.05). Faecal egg counts (FEC) were highest in goats deprived of water for 48 hours (P < 0.01). Faecal larval counts (FLC) for goats deprived of water for 48 hours were almost double the counts from goats deprived for 24 hours. This implied that parasite infestation was strongly related to water intake. Correlation between water deprivation period with DFI, DWI: DFI ratio and BCS were negative (P < 0.05). The FAMACHA scores increased as the water deprivation period was increased. The FAMACHA correlated positively with FEC and FLC (P < 0.01) and negatively with BWT. There was a negative correlation between water deprivation period and BWT (P < 0.01). Pearson’s correlation coefficients between FEC with water deprivation period were positive (P < 0.01), and negative with BWT (P < 0.01) and BCS (P < 0.05). There was a positive correlation between FLC and water deprivation period (P < 0.01), whereas a negative correlation with DFI (P < 0.05). It was concluded that coccidiosis and gastrointestinal parasites were major constraints to goat productivity and were severe in households that experienced water shortages. The increased periods of water deprivation compromised goat productivity, therefore, water deprivation periods can be set to 24 hours for Nguni goats.