Livestock contribute significantly to food and nutrient supply particularly
high quality protein, minerals, vitamins and micro-nutrients for the majority of
African people. Meat, milk and egg provide about one fifth of the protein in
African diets (All African Society of Animal Production, 2010). According to
All African Society of Animal Production (2010), in 2003, Africa’s livestock
population was estimated at 231 million cattle, 244 million sheep, 273 million
goats and 22 million pigs. Livestock contribute about 30 percent to the
agricultural GDP in Africa.
Ruminant livestock are numerous in Nigeria but their production is based
on age-old husbandry systems, which need to be gradually modified in order to
meet the needs of consumers. Cattle, goats and sheep production systems are
traditionally managed to about 85% for all species (Tewe and Bokanga, 2001).
Livestock play an important role in Nigerian agriculture, contributing about
12.7% of the total agricultural GDP (CBN, 1999). Nigeria is one of the four
leading livestock producers in Sub-Sahara African, according to RIM (1990).
The livestock population in Nigeria comprised about 13.9 million cattle, 34.5
million goats and 22 million sheep (lawal-Adebowale, 2012).
Sheep play an important role in the economic life of the people of Nigeria
making significant contribution to the national economy.
There are four major types of sheep native to Nigeria; they are Balami,
Uda, Yankasa and West African Dwarf (WAD). Balami and Uda are reared
mainly in the semi-arid regions, West African Dwarf sheep in the South and
Yankasa throughout the country (Bourn et al.,1994).
In developing countries, sheep produce about 48% of the world mutton
and lamb, 58% of the world’s sheep milk and 47% of the total world sheep hide
and skin (FAO, 1988). Based on available figures it can be said that half of the
total world sheep is produced in the developing countries. These figures
demonstrate that potentials exist in the country to provide animal protein needs
of the populace. It is recognized that in order to achieve these potentials, the
quantity and quality of feed supplied to livestock must be adequate. However, in
most countries of Africa including Nigeria, feed supply is a problem as it is
inadequate and of poor quality (Otaru, 1998).
Small ruminants are second to cattle in terms of meat supplies in Nigeria
(David – West, 1985). They are able to thrive and survive in a wide range of
ecological conditions. These make them more suited to utilizing locally
available feed resources for meat and milk production. A study of the village
production systems in Nigeria shows that the two major problems affecting
small ruminant production are inadequate nutrition and health (Otchere et al.,
1987, Ademosun et al.,1988, Ademosun, 1994). Significant improvement can
be achieved in livestock production with improved nutrition using local
resources. In 1986, Nigeria produced 14.7 million tones of cassava (FAO,
1986), while the demand for this crop was put at 25 million tones for 1988. It is
therefore safe to suggest that feeding cassava meal to livestock is not likely to
be an attractive economic proposition (Adegbola et al., 1988).
Cassava peel however has been shown to form a constant part of
household waste product traditionally offered to sheep and goats in Southern
Nigeria (Obioha, 1977). There are a large number of village-level, small-scale
and large-scale “Garri” processing factories which generated an estimated 2.9
million tones of cassava peels in Nigeria in 1986 (Adegbola at al., 1988).
Considerable research effort is being put into processing cassava peel for use by
small ruminants at village level (Obioha, 1977; Adegbola and Asaolu, 1986).
The large amount of cassava by-product obtained in the “garri” and starch
processing factories will only be useful if the peel is incorporated into livestock
diet formulation. If the waste products are processed into livestock diets and
properly packaged, they will become available and readily find a market with
household owners and small ruminant stock as well as urban livestock owners.
Although potentials of cassava and its by-products have been studied as
source of ruminant feed, little or no information is available on its effects on the
reproductive performances of ruminants in Nigeria.
1.1 Statement of Problem
There is need for increased animal production in Nigeria because the
population of Nigeria is constantly on the increase. Many Nigerians consume
less than 10g of animal protein daily, against the minimum 35g/head/day for a
balanced diet. If we are to have remarkable success in increasing the availability
of animal protein in Nigeria, deliberate effort must be made to better the
management systems, the environment and plane of nutrition and disease
control. Animals with high reproductive efficiency have been recognized. This
will depend on the length of pregnancy, litter size, normal viability, and growth
of new born during breastfeeding and at puberty.
1.2 The Objectives of the Project
The broad objective of this study is to determine the effect of sun-dried
cassava peels on reproduction in the West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep
1.3 Specific Objectives
The specific objectives are to determine the effects of sun-dried cassava peels on:
1. Weight at various stages of reproduction.
2. The duration of estrus and length of estrous cycle.
3. Gestation length and postpartum resumption of ovarian activities.
1.4 Research Justification
Nigeria should discover practical and economical ways of enhancing
reproduction in livestock especially sheep.
Nigeria has numerous village, small scale and large factories that process garri.
These factories generate million tones of peels which are regarded as waste
products. These waste products could be a cheap supplement to grazing done by
the local farmers
2.1 Potentials of small ruminants
All African Society of Animal Production (2010) reported that Africa has
244 million sheep and 223 million goats. The ownership pattern of small
ruminants in Africa compared to cattle, shows that they are more popular among
small-holder farmers (Otaru, 1998). In Nigeria for example, goats are kept at the
rate of 5.7 per compound and sheep at 3.7 (FLDPCS and RIM, 1992). Small
ruminants are regarded as cow for the poor man. This is because they have the
ability to provide meat, milk and skin for the owner’s need and may have little
extra for sale. Based on this statement, one would not wonder why ruminants
always fall into the hands of poor farmers who purchase them only to allow
them to roam about in the village in search of feed. This is so because the initial
capital required for procurement and maintenance is low.