Goats are one the first animals domesticated by man and continue to hold an important niche as farm livestock in subsistence agriculture in developing countries. Goat production plays an important role in the agricultural sector in the rural areas, supplying meat, milk and fertilizer. It serves many importance such as provision of food, income among others. Proper feeding management is an essential aspect of livestock production and supplementary feeding to achieve good growth. Goat production is a good business farmers can venture into. Goats are efficient browsers and prefer eating brushy plants along with some other woody and weedy plants found on the ranges. Goats are able to digest a large variety of fibre and roughage. The nutrient requirements of goats are determined by age, sex, breed, production system (dairy or meat), body size, climate and physiological stage. Feeding strategies should be able to meet energy, protein, mineral, and vitamin needs depending on the condition of the goats. Goats do not depend on intensive feeding systems except some supplemental feeding during growth, lactation, pregnancy and winter. Goats belong to the small ruminant group of animals and have no upper incisor or canine teeth but a dental pad instead. The rumen is the largest part of four stomach compartments with the capacity of roughly 2-6 pounds. Some bacteria and protozoa are normal habitants of the rumen which break down plant food into volatile fatty acids along with vitamins and amino acids. The daily feed intake of goats range from 3-4% of body weight as expressed in pounds (dry matter/head/day). The daily feed intake is influenced by body weight, % of dry matter in the feeds eaten, palatability, and physiological stage of the goats (growth, pregnancy, and lactation).
By-product feeds offer opportunities for producers to reduce supplemental feed costs while maintaining good performance. These By-product feeds contain anti-nutritional factors that can be reduced through some processing methods such as; soaking, toasting and raw (sun drying).By-Product feeds also contain nutrients that are beneficial to the animals. Jack fruit as a by-product feed and a non-conventional feed, offers opportunities for producers to reduce supplemental feed cost. Since both animal sources of proteins and plant sources of protein & energy are usually high, jackfruit is used as a feed supplement in feed formulation. Its leaves are commonly used in feeding goats. The potential of jackfruit waste consist of the skin and seed which can be used as a good source of feed for ruminants.
Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) popularly known as fig fruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world, reaching up to 50kg in weight and 60-90cm in length (Escala, 2010). It belongs to the family Moracear. The fruit is borne on the main and side branches of the tree. Jackfruit is of two types namely; the small, soft and sweet carpels (pulp) and the hard but not very sweet type. The large seeds from this plant are edible. The fruit is widely cultivated in tropical region like in India, Thailand, Malaysia, and in the east Africa like Brazil, Jamaica and Nigeria. Jackfruit grows on evergreen and deciduous trees producing more yield than any other fruit species. The juicy pulp of the ripe fruit is eaten fresh and can be processed into jam. The seeds can be processed into seed flour and preserved for a long period of time. These seed flour can be used in feed formulation for livestock. The fruit/seed contains vitamin A, B, C, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, iron, sodium, zinc and niacin among many other nutrients (Escala, 2010).
Hematological and serum biochemical values have been considered useful for the evaluation of body condition, nutritional and immune status in animal where other tissue related measurements are not available. The significance of determining hematological and biochemical indices of domestic animals have been well documented and changes of these parameters have been studied in cattle, sheep and goat. When blood is examined, it provides a good opportunity to clinically investigate the presence of several metabolites and other constituents in the body of an animal. This is in line with the recommendation of World Health Organization on the use of blood biochemical values in medical nutritional assessment. Blood examination is also a good way of assessing the health status of an animal as it plays a vital role in the physiological, nutritional and pathological status of an animal/organism. Hematological and serum biochemical parameters are good indices of the physiological status of animals and changes in the values of these parameters can be used to assess the response of animals to various physiological situations. The importance of investigating blood composition is to have a way of distinguishing normal status from state of stress. Such stress factor can be nutritional, environmental or physical; thus, this study was designed to evaluate the hematological and serum biochemical values of West African Dwarf goats fed jackfruit seeds as a feed supplement. The jackfruit seed is used as feed concentrates for bucks because it contains major nutrients like the protein and energy and other important minerals. Animals need energy for their daily activities and to make the feeds palatable and also it was used on young bucks to check their response to growth.
The research aims at developing jack fruit seeds and also to evaluate its effect on West African Dwarf goats. It will also provide knowledge on how the seeds are being processed and preserved thus reducing post-harvest losses. Increase intake of jack fruit seeds will contribute to the nutrition and health benefits of the animal in the feed formulation.
Since other sources of energy and protein are usually expensive to obtain and used in feed formulation, jack fruit is being used as a supplement since it provides higher energy content when compared to other sources and are less expensive to obtain.
The broad objective is to assess the response of West African Dwarf bucks fed different processing methods of Jack fruit seeds.
To determine the proximate composition of jackfruit seeds processed differently.
To determine the phytochemical properties, metabolizable energy and the mineral contents of the Jack fruit seeds.
To evaluate the hematology and serum biochemistry of goats fed with the different processing methods of Jack fruit seeds.