|dc.description.abstract||Research was conducted at Msinga Municipality focusing on identifying limiting factors on goat and cattle husbandry and evaluating the degree to which seasonal changes could affect goats and cattle production. Msinga municipality was chosen because it has a high potential to produce indigenous goats and cattle. Because of the latter, a project titled Msinga Goats Movers was established for the commercialization of Msinga goats and an auction marketing strategy was introduced to involve communities. Three communities were chosen for this study, namely: Nxamalala, Madulaneni and Ntanyana. The research was divided into two experimental chapters.
Chapter one evaluated ownership characteristics of goats and cattle by gender and how it contributes to livestock productivity and livestock value chain. This study also looked at challenges militating against the commercialization of goats and cattle. A survey of ninety (90) farmers was conducted to record the effect of goats and cattle ownership by gender in the municipality. A focus group discussion was held based on the livestock association that exists along the irrigation scheme. Questionnaire instrument was used to capture data and analysis was done using SAS 12th Edition. Data were sorted by gender of owner, and analysed using frequency and regression procedures. Observation revealed that male ownership is directly proportional to productivity while it is inversely proportional to livestock purpose, management practices and market values.
Households headed by male had higher number of cattle than those headed by female in the ratio 3:1 while a ratio was 2:1 in the number of goats. Gender ownership ratio between male and female is almost equal (37% to 30%). Cattle were used for cultural purposes (42 %), income (22%), prestige (18%), meat (12.5%) and milk (5%) purposes. Goats serve cultural (39%), prestige (30%), income (19%), meat (11.5%) and milk (2.5%) purposes. Farmers
pointed out that their livestock numbers increased due to reproduction (40%) and buying (30%). All respondents grazed livestock on communal land without due regard for watering. There was difference in gender ownership of poultry. About 70% mortality was due to diseases, water and feed shortage which militated against increased livestock productivity, followed by pilfering, dog attack and poor management practices. There is need for profit maximizing programs that will cause a perspective shift in the culture towards livestock farming with respect to feeding management, common diseases and breeding. Also, the establishment of pests and disease control, grazing lands and water availability for agricultural purposes will greatly improve production performance.
The first part of the second experimental protocols evaluated the livestock feeding behavioural responses and weight changes as influenced by different seasons. During each season (dry season, early wet season, and late wet season) a 48 hour observation was made on 8 goats and 6 cattle. This was followed by marker (Chromium, and Ytterbium) administration. Feacal samples were collected for marker analysis. Time spent on walking, grazing, resting, standing, combats and ruminating was recorded. Results revealed that animals spent more time walking, grazing and ruminating in dry season; in early wet season animals spent more time grazing, combats and ruminating. Live weight was lost and gained in dry and early wet season, respectively.
Cattle increased social-activities in dry and early wet season compared to late wet season because of pasture defoliation and temperature changes caused by season. The time cattle spent on standing/combating, walking and ruminating/resting were significantly different in dry/early wet seasons compared to late season (P< 0.01). The rate of cattle rumination and resting increased with seasonal changes (P < 0.01). Grazing and drinking were significantly affected by seasons (P <0.05). Ruminants tend to adjust their grazing behaviour to either early hour of the day or late in the evening at early wet season when the temperature is above vii
250C, such that it will not affect the daily intake rate. There were significant differences observed between cattle final weight and live weight loss in dry season, with lower values recorded in the late wet season. Seasonal impacts on goats standing and combating behaviour was significantly different (P < 0.01). Because the heat generated through fermentation is very low compared to required body temperature, so goats engaged in more activities to sustain cold temperature in dry season. Live weight gain of goats, especially in dry season was significantly affected (P < 0.01).
The second part of the second experimental protocols determined the particle passage rate in goats and cattle feeding on available and varied grasses, forbes and browses on pasture throughout the three seasons. Markers (Chromium and Ytterbium) were administered and faecal samples were collected at 0, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96, 108, 120, 132, 146, 158 and 170 hours after administration, dried at 70oC for three days, ashed at 550oC and analyzed using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Dry matter digestibility and gas production were done through the in vitro digestibility method. Rumen rate of passage of a particle was slow in drought areas and dry season because decreases in intake level. Passage rate and retention times vary in different seasons based on the quality of forage available to animal. Analysis reveals that passage rate was very high in late wet compared to dry and early wet season. Perhaps, this was associated with succulent and high moisture content of forages was available this season.
In late wet season, passage rate of particle was higher. Hind gut retention time of particle was differ in late wet compare to dry and early wet season. Because regrowth of pasture in late wet season stimulates animal grazing though the intake was not satisfactory in quantity of forage expected by the animal. Rumen retention time and hind gut retention time of particle in goats are higher than cattle. The types and quality of consumed forages and their dry matter digestibility (%) were different. This can be due to different ability of consumed
forage response to seasonal effects. There was live weight loss in dry season which was extended to early wet season i.e. livestock did not recovery from live weight, until wet season. There was significant different in the in vitro gas production in between at 6 hours and 44 hours. Seasonal means at early hours of in vitro gas production (6 hours) was significantly different; dry and early wet compared to late wet season. Comparing dry and early wet to late wet seasons at 44 hours revealed different in vitro gas production. This revealed the seasonal impact on rumen activity, ruminant behaviour and forage quality.||en