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WASSCE Animal Husbandry 2003 – Paper 2

WASSCE Animal Husb. 2003 Sect. B



1.(a) (i) Explain the term vocation as used in agriculture.
(ii) List four vocational opportunities in animal husbandry.
(iii) Discuss briefly four vocational training programmes that are available in animal husbandry.
(b) State five functions of proteins in a farm animal.


(a) i) Vocation is a type of work that one is-suited to do due to the profession or suitable skills and education and to which one must devote his / her time and energy.

(ii) Vocational Opportunities in Animal Husbandry
•Veterinary Services
•Animal health services/delivery
• Ruminant production
•Non-Ruminant production
•Animal Research Services
• Feed milling
•Wildlife conservation
• Processing and marketing of farm products
• Animal breeding services
•Hatchery operation

(iii) Vocational Training Programmes
Training in Animal Production in Farm Institutes: These institutes usually admit Junior High Schools (JHS) and Senior High Schools (SHS) products to do one-year certificate course in animal production. Trainees are normally employees sponsored by their employers.

Training in Private Commercial Farms: These commercial farms usually advertise for farmers who are into animal farming can do attachment with their farms for training in special skills in particular area of animal farming. Such commercial farms also accept student from the universities and colleges for certain period to improve on their skills.

Training programmes at the Research stations and university farms: These institutions occasionally organise short courses for farmers to improve on their skills in specific areas of livestock production. The participants are usually self-sponsored or sponsored by their employers.

Training in Agricultural Colleges: These colleges admit students from secondary schools and ordinary (‘O’) level certificate or 3-year diploma programmes.
They acquire skills to go into farming or become extension officers.

Training in the University: The various universities in the. country admit Senior High School learners, GCE Advanced (‘A’) Level holders and diplomats from agricultural colleges. They usually go through a 3-year programme in both theory and practical animal production. The products usually come out as animal scientists to manage animal farms or provide consultancy services.

Training by consultants: Some farmers and potential farmers as well students who require specific knowledge and skills in animal production may be trained by consultants who are knowledgeable and expert in these fields.

Training in Senior High Schools: In some rare cases, trainees at the Senior High School are given practical and theoretical skills in animal production to go into production. Such individuals update their skills and knowledge by attending short courses or gaining consultancy services.

Short programmes in the Universities: The universities usually organise short courses or programmes usually called “sandwich programmes” to update the knowledge and skills of animal farmers on the field. It is usually called “sandwich” because they are normally organised during the vacation of the universities especially during the long vacation.

Government/Commercial farms sponsored programmes abroad: Sometimes government and commercial farm owners sponsor farmers (sometimes best farmers) and their employees respectively to travel abroad to receive extensive training in some aspect of animal production and to gain extensive exposure to what is going on around the globe.

(b) Functions of proteins in Farm Animals
(i) Proteins are used mainly as a growth factor (i.e. for body growth and repairs of worn-out tissues).
(ii) Proteins are used to build a major component of all cell membrane, in muscles and other supportive capacities such as the skin, hair, hooves etc.
(iii) Proteins are a major component of all enzymes-catalyze chemical reactions in the body (i.e. proteins are major constituents of catalyst. Therefore, they are responsible for speeding the biochemical processes within the organism.
(iv) Proteins form an essential components of antibodies which are essential in the immune responses (i.e. immune; is the natural ability of the body to fight disease pathogens).
(v) Proteins are used to build essential components of hormones which regulate metabolic and reproductive functions.
(vi) Proteins are also in muscle contraction and movement.
(vii) Proteins are used directly in production mainly through synthesis and building up of tissues, eggs, meat, milk and wool.
(viii) Proteins are also involved in a contractile function. The proteins present in muscles like myosin and also in flagella are responsible for mobility (movement) of organism or parts of them.

2.(a) Differentiate between the following terms:
(i) Grazing and Browsing,
(ii) Ruminant herbivore and non-ruminant herbivore,
(iii) Eructation and rumination.
(b) (i) State four function of saliva.
(ii) Give four characteristics of the rumen that make it possible for microbial fermentation to take place in it.


a) i) Grazing and Browsing
Grazing: Grazing generally describes a type of feeding in which herbivores feed on plants (such as grasses and legumes) and also on other multicellular autotrophs (such as algae or forbs).
Browsing: Browsing on the other hand is the type of feeding, in which a herbivores feeds on plants (usually brush or shrubs) taking both the vegetative parts and the bark of the shrub or the tree. A brush consist of short trees with lateral buds, shoots, rhizomes or stolons which have leaves, axil, petiole etc. that can be fed on by the animals.
(ii) Ruminant Herbivores and Non-Ruminant Herbivores
Ruminant Herbivores: These are four chambered animals that are capable of digesting cellulose in plants (herbs). Examples include Goats, sheep, cattle, Buffalo etc.
Non-Ruminants Herbivores: These, on the other hand, are animals with single chambered stomach but with extended caecum and hence capable of digesting cellulose in plants (herbs). Examples include rabbits, grasscutter, monkeys’ horses etc.
(iii) Eructation and Rumination
Eructation: This is the act of bringing out gases generated in the rumen. The gases are formed during fermentation of food and include carbon dioxide, water vapour, ammonia gas etc. Eructation is the only natural way of preventing or reducing the occurrence of bloat. The inability of the animal to release the gases could result in bloat.
Rumination: This is the process by which the food swallowed into stomach is sent back or returned into the mouth for re-chewing. It involves regurgitation, re-chewing, re-salivation and re-swallowing. This process of rumination is induced by the tactile stimulus of the epithelium of the anterior rumen and
achieved by an anti-peristaltic movement in the tract. No gases are formed during rumination.

(b) (i) Functions of Saliva
•Saliva contains enzymes (amylase) which is responsible for the digestion of starch.
• Saliva contains for bolus formation and it lubricates the food for easy swallowing.
• Saliva softens the food for easy digestion and swallowing of food.
• It also maintains the contents of the stomach in a fluid state to facilitate access of microbes to the food.
•It acts as buffer in the stomach.
•Saliva helps to keep the oral mucosa moist
• Saliva is also involves in the thermo-regulation when water in the saliva evaporates.
•Saliva neutralizes acidic foods and hydrochloric acids produced in the stomach during digestion as it is alkaline in nature.
• It rinses the mouth and kills the bacteria that may be present in the mouth.
•Some urea is returned to the rumen via saliva for recycling.

(ii)Characteristics of rumen that makes it possible for microbial fermentation to take place there (i.e. how the rumen is adapted to perform its functions).
• The rumen is the largest chamber and hence allows food to be stored in large quantities for microbial action on them (i.e. large volume of storage).
• The rumen contains millions of microbial organisms like bacteria and protozoa that facilitate the fermentation process (i.e. several millions of microbes).
• The microbial organisms in the rumen can secret enzymes that can digest all kinds of carbohydrates into glucose.
• The rumen walls are capable of absorbing the volatile fatty acids (VFA) and ammonia gas produced during the fermentation process to give energy to the animal.
• The microbial organisms (bacteria, protozoa and fungi) can synthesis most of the Vitamin-B complex and Vitamin E and D which are produced in small amount. These vitamins are essential in the fermentation process.
•The rumen is capable of digesting large amount of protein to produce ammonia, carbon dioxide and volatile fatty acids (VFA). These acids include acetic acids, butyric acids and propanoic acids needed to create the right conditions for fermentation to take place.
•Rumen is capable of initiating the peristaltic movement that pushes the fermented food into the mouth or the reticulum.
• The rumen contains finger-like projections on the inner walls which provide a large surface area for microbial fermentation.
• It also contains muscular walls that enhances physical breakdown of feed materials.

3.(a) Explain four factors that pre-dispose farm animals to diseases.
(b) Discuss anthrax in farm animals under the following headings: (i) Mode of transmission
(ii) Signs and symptoms
(iii) Control measures
(c) State two deficiency symptoms of each of the following nutrients in farm Animals
(i) Water and (ii) Vitamin A


(a) Factors that expose farm animals to diseases

Predisposing factors of farm animals to diseases include:
•Heredity •Age
•Climate •Food and water
• Housing •Breed

Heredity: Animals born with infections diseases are already exposed to other disease pathogens attack. Some farm animals are susceptible to diseases. They have physiological disorders, anatomical defects etc. resulting from inbreeding depression.

Age: Certain diseases do not affect adult animals or at least, not as seriously as they affect the young ones. -In the young and extremely old animals the defence mechanisms are not strong enough and their power of resistance (immune system) is less. In such situation, such animals are more susceptible to diseases. Adult animals tend to suffer more from digestive disturbances; rheumatic and joint diseases and disorders.

Climate: Climate as a whole has a greater influence on the health of farm animals. Some diseases are more prevalent in the tropics than in the temperate climates, and the moist and warm climate favours the development of bacterial and parasitic diseases.

Food and water: Over feeding and under-feeding or even malnutrition of animals all exposed farm animals to many disease pathogens. Unbalanced feeds given to farm animals increases their susceptibility to diseases. Good and varied feed has an important influence on the health of animals.

Housing: Housing provided for farm animals has both positive and negative effects on the health of farm animals. Poorly housed animals are exposed to the harsh climatic condition which reduces their resistance to diseases. On the other hand, if farm animals are properly housed and they are not exposed to the harsh environmental conditions, they become less susceptible to diseases (i.e. they become more resistance to diseases).

Breed of Animals: Different breeds of the same type of farm animals have different level of resistance to a particular disease. Some breeds of (especially local breeds) are resistance to most tropical diseases than the exotic breeds of the same type of animals.

(b) Anthrax Disease
Causative Agent: Anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis (bacterium) whose spores can remain ineffective for a long time.

Mode of Transmission: Transmission is through ingestion or inhalation of the bacterium or its spores. It is also transmitted through wounds in wools, skins and hides, hence the name “wool sorters” disease in humans.

Signs and Symptoms:
(i) Anthrax is usually associated with high fevers accompanied with rise in temperatures (about 43 0C).
(ii) There are muscular tremors (i.e. sudden hardening of the muscles).
(iii) There is difficulty in breathing.
(iv) In lactating animals, there is blood stained milk.
(v) There is always an accompanied diarrhoea to the high fever.
(vi) There is oedema (sores) of the tongue and throat
(vii) In pregnant animals, anthrax may result in abortion of foetus.
(viii) Mucous membranes become red, blood stained or haemorrhagic.
(ix) In pigs there is fever, anorexia, dullness, swollen throat and face, blood-stained froth from mouth and death may follow.
(x) Sudden death without visible signs of sickness may also occur in some animals.
(xi) There is discharge of blood from body openings such as the mouth, anus, nose etc.

Control and preventive measures
• Treat anthrax with antibiotic e.g. penicillin, streptomycin etc.
•Vaccinate susceptible animals annually with anthrax spore vaccines or other appropriate vaccine to prevent the occurrence of the disease.
•Isolate all sick animals and treat them.
•Burn all dead animals or bury them in deep pits in soil mixed with quicklime.
•Disinfect area likely to have been contaminated
NB: Any sudden death of animal could be anthrax hence no cut should be made until the cause of the death is established or confirmed by post-mortem examination.

(c) (i) Deficiency symptoms of water
•This results in low feed intake.
•It results in increased rectal temperature.
•When it persists it will lead to low productivity.
•It results in increased rate of respiration.
•It results in high blood concentration of mineral salts (i.e. hemoconcentration).
•Deficiency of water in farm animals results in impaired or malfunction muscular activity.
• It results in increased renal excretion of nitrogen; sodium and potassium salts from the body of the farm animals.
• In extreme situation death may occur.

(ii) Deficiency symptoms of Vitamin A (Retinol)
•It results in poor vision of the animals.
•It results in the decreased activity of the animals.
•It results in loss of muscle control.
• It reduces the sensitivity of animals to external stimuli.

4.(a) (i) Mention two types of intensive system of grasscutter production.
(ii) State three features which are used to determine the sex of a grasscutter.
(b) Give four signs of oestrus in rabbit.
(c) Discuss briefly three factors that influence the onset of puberty in farm animals.
(d) Give five purposes for which wildlife is conserved.


(i) Intensive System of grass-cutter production: There are two main intensive system of keeping grasscutter namely:
• The use of hutches: The hutch may consist of all-wire cage or woodwire hutch or cage. For either hutch, the size should be about 120cm (length) by 60cm (breadth) by 60cm (depth). The hutch should be 45cm above the ground to prevent predators from attacking the grasscutter. There should be a dark corner for breeding. The hutch is placed under shade in a cool environment.
• Ground Housing System: With the system there is dug-outs made and cemented for the grasscutter to live in. Feeding is done from the top by lifting the cover of the ground house. The ground system is closer to the grass-cutter’s original habitat.
NB: The question demanded for the listing of the two systems without any further explanation.
(ii) Features used to determine the sex of grasscutter
• The presence or absence of teats.
• The head shape and/or size.
• The ano-genital distance.
• The colour of the ano-genital region.
The presence or absence of teats: Males have no teats. There are usually three (3) pairs of teats located on the anterior sides of the female animal.
The head shape and / or size: The females have a relatively small steeply slooping head with a much narrow snout (like a wedge or triangular shape).
The males on the other hand have a relatively bigger, gentle sloping head ending in a blunt snout. This feature is however very difficult to use in determining the sex of a grasscutter.
The Ano-genital Distance: The ano-genital distance is the distance between the anus and the base of the genital papilla (i.e. the clitoris or the penis sheath. The ano-genital distance in male is about 12-15cm when the animal is about a month old. However, in females it is about 4-5cm long.
The colour of the Ano-genital region: In adult animals, the males develop a yellowish to tan patch of the ano-genital region whilst females show no such colourisation.
(b) Signs of Oestrus (heat) in rabbits.
•They become restless and walk around the fences or walls
•They develop enlarged and reddened valve.
• The females on heat tend to mount on other rabbits.
• There is frequent urination.
• They tend to stand rigidly when pressure is applied to their loin or rump area.
• The tend to make a lot of noise.
• The animal loses appetite.
• There is secretion of thick slimy liquid visible on the external genital organ
•The rabbit on heat tend to sniff or lick other female genital organs.

(c) Factors that influence the onset of puberty in farm animals.
NB: Puberty: It is a stage of sexual maturity where the physiological reproductive activities begin and where the young male animals begin to produce sperms and the female animal produce ova. At puberty stage, the animals may mate to produce offspring.
The factors that influence the onset of puberty in farm animals include:
Growth rate of the animal: The faster the growth rate of the animal, the earlier the animal reaches puberty stage.
Nutrition / Feeding: When animals are offered poor feed with ‘low level of nutrients, it affects the growth rate and retards of the attainment of puberty stage. The opposite is true.
Breeds / Genetic factor: The breed or genetic factor of the animals affects the rate at which they grow and attain puberty level/stage. Generally, exotic breeds reach puberty faster than the local breeds of most farm animals.
Hormone Deficiency: Deficiency in gonadotropic hormones for example, retards the onset of puberty. If on the other hand no deficiency of hormones occurs, then farm animals will naturally come on puberty earlier.
Drugs: Some drugs when given to farm animals can promote onset of puberty e.g. growth stimulating hormones. It is therefore recommended that farmers resort to only prescribed additives and drugs in feeding or treating animal diseases.

d) Purpose for which wildlife is conserved
(i) To maintain the balance among the plants, animals and other natural resources and to preserve them.
(ii) Wildlife conservation centres serve as source of tourist attraction and hence revenue to the government.
(iii) It serves as a major source of bush meat to people.
(iv) It serves as a source of enjoyment to the wildlife guards.
(v) It helps to ensure sustainable use of resources to satisfy present and future presentation.
(vi) Wildlife conservation provides Foreign exchange to the nations by exporting wildlife products such as bush meat, timbers etc.
(vii) Wildlife conservation helps to sustain raw material supply to industries that utilize wildlife products thereby generating employment and income.
(viii) Wildlife protects rivers and other water bodies from drying-up.

5.(a) State three main characteristics of each of the following types of cattle:
(i) beef cattle and (ii) dairy cattle
(b) Mention five factors to be considered when establishing an artificial pasture
(c) Give three examples each of the following types of forage crops used for pasture establishment:
(i) Grasses and (ii) Legumes
(d) State six management practices that could be carried out to improve a pasture.


(a) (i) Characteristics of:
Beef Cattle Dairy Cattle
They are usually muscular (i.e. they are well built and supported with short, strong and straight legs). They are usually less muscular (i.e. they are usually lean with long legs).
They have blocky shape (i.e. square shaped body conformation). Dairy cattle are triangular or wedged shaped.
They have less develop udder. Dairy cattle have a well-developed udder.
They usually have well developed horns They usually have less well developed horns.
They have aggressive habit/character. They usually have a quite character.
They have relatively faster growth rate compared to that of dairy cattle. They have relatively slow growth rate compared to that of beef cattle.

(b) Factors to consider in establishing an artificial pasture:
• The type of pasture to be established (permanent or temporal rotational pasture).
• The availability of land.
• The soil type and topography of the land.
• The size of the livestock that may feed on the pasture.
• Grazing management practices to adopt to get the best out of the pasture.
• Cost and availability of planting materials.
• Time of planting and the planting materials to be used.
• Tolerance of forage species to grazing, burning and drought
• Acceptability of the pasture to the animal.
• Maturity period of the pasture.
• Rainfall pattern of the area (i.e. climate).
• The skills to manage and maintain the pasture.
• Ease of establishment and eradication.

(c) Examples of Grasses and Legumes used for pasture establishment
• Guinea grass: Panicum maximum
•Bahama grass: Andropogon gayanus
• Elephant grass: Pennisetum purpureum
• Stubborn grass: Eleusine Indica
•Giant star grass: Cynodon Plectostychyus

• Centrosema: Centrosema pubescens
•Pigeon pea: Cajanus cajan
• Stylo: Stylosanthes graccilis
• Forage cowpea: Vigna sinensis
• Calopo: Calopogonlum mucunoides
• Tropical Kudzu: Pueraria phaseoloides

(d) Management Practices adopted to improve on pasture
•Weed control
•Irrigation or watering
• Liming (i.e. addition of agricultural line to acid soils).
• Reseeding: sowing new seeds especially leguminous seed on pasture
• Fertilizer application
• Pests control
• Diseases control
•Controlled burning to control pest and rejuvenate pasture grasses
•Adopting controlled grazing systems such as rotational grazing
•Adopting correct stocking rate during grazing

6.(a) Define the term cannibalism as used in poultry production.
(b)State six conditions that may pre-dispose birds to cannibalism.
(c)Mention six qualities to look for when selecting eggs for incubation.
(d)Explain each of the following terms as used in animal production:
(i) flaying (ii) fleshing (iii) evisceration


(a) Cannibalism (Defined)
Cannibalism is the vice whereby poultry birds eat or peck on the flesh of the other birds usually of the same species resulting in serious injury or even death.
(b) Conditions that predispose birds to cannibalism
(i)Poor ventilation of the flock in their housing facility. (i)High temperatures.
(iii) High light intensity.
(iv) Overcrowding of birds in a cage.
(v) Poor and imbalanced nutrition such as insufficient protein and mineral salts in diet of birds.
(vi) Provision of insufficient feed and feeding trough in the cage (inadequate feeding regime).
(vii) Provision of insufficient water and water trough in the cage (i.e. inadequate provision of water for the flocks).
(viii) If crippled birds are allowed to mix with healthy ones, the crippled ones becomes a victim of target by the healthy ones.
(ix) When birds of different ages and breeds are mixed together, cannibalism becomes common.
(x) Insufficient nest and boredomness (inactivity on the part of the chicks).
(xi) Abrupt changes in the environment conditions like excessive temperature.
(xii) Poor management practices can also lead to stress condition which causes cannibalism.

(c)Qualities to look for in selecting eggs for incubation
(i) Select oval-shaped eggs (i.e. one end is more pointed than the other). Round shaped and elongated eggs with straight sides should be discarded.
(ii) Ideally, eggs for incubation should be selected from mature hen, and cock of six months old and beyond.
(iii) The average weight of eggs selected for incubation should be between 53-63g. Ideally 55g egg weight should be selected. Too large or too small eggs should be discarded.
(iv) Select eggs from birds which have been properly fed. The eggs should have hard shell.
(v) Eggs for incubation should be free from any forms of breakages including hairline cracks.
(vi) Smooth-shelled eggs are ideal for incubation. The surface of such eggs should be free from dirt, chalkiness, ridges and all forms of blemishes.
(vii) Eggs selected for incubation should be single-yoked. Double-yoked eggs should be avoided.
(viii) Eggs for incubation should be well coloured. Very light coloured eggs are signs of calcium deficiency in the shell and hence not good for incubation.

(d) Explanation of terms
(i) Flaying: This is the process of stripping off the skin of a carcass. It is done within a few hours of the animals’ death as the skin peel-off easily.
NB: The following steps are involved (additional information)
• Sharp knife is used to make a small incision on the inside of one end of the hind legs.
• The hind legs, including a small portion of the skin covering the abdomen and edges of the butt round the rump can be flayed with a knife fist whiles still on the floor.
• The carcass should then be hoisted.
• Hoisting the animal makes it easy to use one’s body weight to pull the skin. It also ensures that the meat will stay clean.
• The slaughtered animal can either be hanging from the neck or from the legs and strong ropes should be used for the purpose.
•Skinning is a straight forward activity, if one follows the body’s build is a guideline. This is because the skin and muscle tissue are naturally separated from one another by protective membranes.

(ii) Fleshing: This is the removal of the residual connective and adipose tissues from the fleshy side of a skin after flaying. During fleshing, care must be taken not to cause gouges and scores.
(iii) Evisceration: This is the process of cutting open the carcass and removing the internal organs such as the heart, liver, intestines and stomach and other associated tissues. The clean dressed carcass should be separated rapidly and completely from the visceral content to avoid contamination.