Feeding practices and effects of gastrointestinal parasite infections on live weight gain of small ruminants in smallholder mixed farms in Kenya
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Odoi, A.; Gathuma, J.M.; Gachuiri, C.K. Omore, A. 2008. Feeding practices and effects of gastrointestinal parasite infections on live weight gain of small ruminants in smallholder mixed farms in Kenya. Research in Veterinary Science. 84(2): 185-193.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/838
The objective of this study was to quantify the effects of gastrointestinal nematodosis on live weight gain (LWG) of sheep and goats kept in smallholder farms in Kenya. A total of 307 sheep and goats from smallholder farms were sampled using a 2-stage cluster and systematic random approach. Sampled farms were visited once a month for nine months during which a health and production survey questionnaire was administered, animals weighed and fecal samples taken for fecal egg count. Descriptive statistics and a generalized linear mixed model were performed in SAS. The mean LWG of suckling kids and lambs was low (mean = 46 g/day). High fecal egg count and lack of feed supplementation were identified as the main factors limiting growth. Improved helminth control and nutrition are required to optimize production.