Haemonchotolerance in West African Dwarf goats: contribution to sustainable, anthelmintics-free helminth control in traditionally managed Nigerian dwarf goats.
Bottom Line: Here, we summarise the history of this breed and explain its economic importance in rural West Africa.If haemonchotolerance can be shown to be genetically controlled, it should be possible to exploit the underlying genes to improve GIN resistance among productive fibre and milk producing breeds of goats, most of which are highly susceptible to nematode infections.Either introgression of resistance alleles into susceptible breeds by conventional breeding, or transgenesis could be used to develop novel parasite-resistant, but highly productive breeds, or to improve the resistance of existing breeds, benefitting the local West African rural economy as well as global caprine livestock agriculture.
Affiliation: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Nigeria hosts the largest WAD goat population in West Africa, with approximately 11 million animals in the humid zone of Eastern Nigeria alone. There are two major ecotypes, the humid zone and the savannah WAD goats (Figs. 1A and 1B, respectively) and these differ phenotypically in several respects, notably their body size and weight, the latter being about 2.0 kg heavier on average at 12 months of age . It is estimated that at least 90% of these animals are owned by small-scale rural goat keepers, for whom goats represent an important asset . In the southern humid zone they are generally kept in numbers not exceeding 10 goats per rural household or in small herds on mixed farms in the northern savannah zone. A variety of methods are available for the husbandry of these goats, depending on local customs, byelaws and seasonal factors [9, 11]. The commonest involve total confinement in small, simple shelters within the owner’s premises (Fig. 2A) during the cropping (rainy) season, as a precaution against crop damage, and unlimited free browsing on neighbourhood fallow and post-harvest farm land, hedge-rows and roadside verges (Fig. 2B) during the dry (harvest) season. All return to their owner’s premises at night for security. Leftovers from the domestic kitchen and cut-and-carry fodder/foliage are important ingredients in the husbandry of goats in rural areas during periods of confinement or housing. Limited tethering is also practised in some communities during the cropping season.Figure 1.
Affiliation: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.