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WASSCE Animal Husbandry 2009 – Paper 2

WASSCE Animal Husb. 2009 Sect. B


Question 1.
(a) Distinguish maintenance ration and production ration.

(b) Explain why the daily nutrient needs of the following categories of sheep are likely to be different:
(i) Pregnant ewe,
(ii) Lamb under three months of age.
(iii) Mature wither



(a)Maintenance and Production Ration Explained
Maintenance Ration: This is the amount of feed than an animal requires in a day to enable it to live without necessary gaining or losing weight. Such ration is just enough to maintain the supply of energy and to prevent an increase or decrease in the live-weight of the animal.
Maintenance ration is provided to animals for four main basic functions
•To provide heat needed to maintain a constant body temperature
•To provide energy for essential activities such as breathing, movement and blood circulation.
•Used to repair of worn-out tissues of the body.
•To maintain body weight, promote good health with no production purposes.

Production Ration: This is the quantity of feed than an animal need in a day to enable it to grow, produce meat, eggs and reproduce to produce other animal product.

(b) Why daily nutrient for sheep are different at different stages of sheep growth
(i) Nutrient Needs of Pregnant Ewe:
•All sheep have to be fed on a well-balanced ration with required nutrients such as protein, carbohydrate, fats, mineral, vitamins and water.
•Pregnant ewe requires a crude protein content of 12-15 percent.
•Pregnant ewe requires this percentage of crude protein to sustain the lamb in the womb especially, the trimester (i.e. the last few months before parturition).
•Pregnant ewe requires much more concentrates than roughages and enough mineral pre-mix made up of iron, copper, cobalt, iodine, manganese, zinc, molybdenum, selenium and fluorine.
•Pregnant sheep (ewe) can also be fed with a salt lick to take of all mineral requirements. Natron, a rock mineral can be given as a substitute for mineral salt lick.

(ii) Nutrient Needs of lamb under three months of age
• Lamb under three months of age do not have a well-developed four chamber of stomach and hence cannot digest cellulose from hard roughages from plants.
• At this stage of growth the animal (lamb) feed well on soft herbages and udder milk from the dam.

(iii) Nutrient Needs of mature wether
• Mature wither requires a similar feed requirement as the pregnant ewe except that mature wether require more roughages and feed from grasses and fodder plants.
• Mature wither requires a crude protein of G-12 percent. Since mature wether have a well-developed four-chambered stomachs it can properly feed on straw, silage, hay, bushes, roots and other parts of plants.
• They feed properly on acacia plant to provide them with good source of protein and a bulk of fibre material.

Question 2.
(a) Explain each of the following terms:
(i) Disease (ii) Parasite

(b) State six causes of disease in farm animals.

(c) Discuss Newcastle disease of poultry under the following headings:
(i) Mode of transmission, (ii) Symptoms
(iii) Control



(a)(i) Disease: A disease is any disorder that interferes with normal functioning of the body of an organism in a negative way.
(ii) Parasites: A parasite is an organism which derives it food from another (the host) without necessary killing the host.

(b) Causes of Disease in Farm Animals
•Nutritional deficiencies
•Contaminated food and water
• Unfavourable climatic conditions

(c)New Castle Disease (Pseudo Fowl Pest)
Caused by virus and it affects poultry, guinea fowls, ducks etc.

Mode of transmission: Infection is through inhalation and contact. It is also through contaminated feed and water.

Symptoms: Incubation period is between 5-7 days
(i)Respiratory symptoms include coughing, gasping, sneezing
(ii)Loss of voice, rattling, anorexia and dullness
(iii)Birds usually huddle together
(iv)Nervous signs set in and lead to paralysis in the legs and wings.
(v)Causes torticollis (neck twist backwards)
(vi)Loss of balance, circular walking, backward somersaulting
(vii)Profuse greenish diarrhoea; drop in egg production;
(viii) Eggs have soft shells and may be misshaped or depigmented
(ix) Mucous discharge from eyes and nose; excess secretion from mouths
(x) Death may finally occur


(i)There is no cure hence animals are vaccinated to prevent disease; Birds are vaccinated at 2 weeks, 6 weeks and again at 16 weeks with recommended vaccines.
(ii)Infected animals are isolated and destroyed by burying or burning the carcasses of especially of heavily infected birds.
(iii)Restrict movement into area of infection or by quarantining infected birds to be introduced
(iv)Ensure strict sanitations standards; disinfection is also important.

Question 3.
(a)State five harmful effects on climate on farm animals.

(b)Explain five ways in which grazing animals in hot and humid climates lose heat in order to maintain constant body temperature.



(a)Harmful Effects of climate in farm animals
•Unfavourable climate affects the feed conversion of farm animals.
• Climate also affects the prenatal and post-natal growth rates. Unfavourable climate condition lead weak offspring and reduced birth weight due to reduced feed intake.
•Unfavourable climatic conditions affect the male reproductive ability of farm animals. It may lead to decrease in semen quality, mobility and shortened oestrus duration.
• Climatic conditions which are unfavourable can cause a fall in milk production. A drop in milk production occurs in cattle 240c. Milk quality also drops with harsh climatic conditions.
• Harsh climatic conditions cause a fall in egg and meat production mainly because of decrease in feed intake and poor feed conversion efficiency.
• Unfavourable climatic condition has effect on grazing habits of farm animals. In very hot conditions, animals on pasture tend to spread out and huddle together when the temperature is too cold.
•Unfavourable climatic conditions the development of diseases in livestock and vices in poultry.
• Very harsh climatic conditions can cause chilling of young ones soon parturition of farm animals.

(b)Ways in which grazing animals in hot and humid climates lose in order to maintain constant body temperature Refer from June 2006 2(b)

Question 4.
(a)(i) What is a breed?
(ii) Give three characteristics of each of the following breeds of poultry:
(a) Light breeds (b) Heavy breeds

(b) Describe the main features of each of the following systems of poultry keeping: (i) Deep cage system, (ii) Battery cage system.

(c) State three advantages of the deep litter system.



(a)(i) What is a Breeds: A breed is a stock of animals or plants within a species having a distinctive appearance and typically having been developed by deliberate selection.
A breed is a group of domestic animals or plants with a homogenous appearance or behaviour and other characteristics that distinguish it from other animals or plants of the same species, and arrived at through selective breeding.
• Cultivars = Plant breeds.
• Landrace = Naturally occurring regional variety of domestic animals.
• Feral = Naturally occurring animals occurring through uncontrolled breeding

(ii) Characteristics of Light and Heavy Breeds
Light Breeds
• Light breeds are normally hardier and more resistant to diseases and heat stress.
•They are usually smaller in size.
•They produce fewer and smaller eggs.
•They are usually broodier and to take better care of the chicks.
•Due to the fact that light breeds are resistant, they can usually be reared or kept on free-range basis.
• They are usually not used for commercial egg or meat production

Heavy Breeds
• Heavy breeds are usually fast growers
• They have large body size and produce more large-sized eggs
•Usually most heavy breeds lack the tendency to broodiness
• They are usually kept for the commercial egg and meat production
• Heavy breeds are less hardy and less resistant to diseases and heat stress
•By their nature, they usually kept mainly by intensive and semi-intensive system

(b)Features of Deep Litter System and a Battery Cage System
Deep Litter System features
• This system is suitable for rearing laying fowls, breeders, broilers and for brooding chicks.
• It is the most popular kind of intensive system for commercial poultry production.
•The deep litter pen has to be sited on well-drained soil should be almost flat.
•The floor of the pen should be made of concrete so that it is easier to remove the used litter material as well to wash clean and thoroughly disinfect the floor.
•The roof should be of metal roofing sheets.
•The floor is covered with litter which should be carefully chosen.
• The litter should not be too small fine to cause respiratory problem.
• The litter material should be absorbent capable of breaking down easily by micro-organisms.
• Soft wood shavings which has been chopped short constitute the best litter material.
• Deep litter system should have all fittings well laid out and should be at least 40cm above the floor litter.
• Moveable feeding troughs, waterers and nest boxes should be provided.
• Perches should be placed over a pit to collect the droppings.

Battery Cage System
• This system comprises a number of cages made up of mainly welded wire which are arranged in tiers and often housed in well ventilated and lighted pens.
• The system is considered best for producing quality eggs, better use of feed and for keeping an eye on the performance of individual fowls.
• The system is useful in areas where land is limited but there is the need to keep a large number of fowls as data can easily be collected on each fowl in a cage •The battery consists of a block of cages within which each cage is designed to contain one or more fowls depending on the space, design and how the units have been constructed.
•In a typical laying battery cage, the cages are constructed to have sloping wire floors. This position of the floor allows the laid eggs to roll easily forward, out of the reach of the fowls to the egg collecting cradle.
• The cage floor can be made of two kinds of wire material-welded wire and wire netting. The wire netting floors have a steeper slope and generally protect egg shells from cracking and dirt. 2
• The size of a cage for a fowl of about 2kg should be 50cm2 (0.5m2).
•There are many kinds of tiered cages such as double tier cage (two stacked cages high), triple and quadruple tier cages (i.e. three and four stacked cages high respectively).
• The arrangement of the cages can take any of the following lay-outs; vertical, stepped and flat deck. The feeding troughs and waterers (drinkers) are fitted at the front part of the cage with the waterers hanging over the feeding troughs.
•The droppings from the fowls may pass through the wire floors to the floor of the house or into a pit to be removed later.

(c) Advantages of Deep Litter System
•The deep litter system requires less labour.
•It is an efficient and reliable system for keeping a large flock at one particular time.
•It provides highly hygienic conditions and reduces pests and diseases outbreaks as a well-kept floor litter is able to kill most disease organisms which might multiply in it.
• It gives less cracked eggs.
• The system can be used for flocks of all sizes. Flocks of about 5000 birds can be reared in a single deep litter cage.
•The system can be used to reduce wastage of feed and other inputs as scientific and controlled feeding is possible to practice.
•There is always increased production as compared to the extensive systems.
•The system requires relatively less size of land to operate than the extensive system.
•Birds are adequately protected against predators and adverse weather conditions.
• Poultry droppings can easily collected and used on arable lands to increase its fertility status or used into fertile fish ponds.

Question 5.
(a)Explain each of the following terms:
(i) Forage crop (ii) Pasture plant

(b)Give five reasons why legumes are important as forage crops.



(a)(i) Forage Plant: Is a plant material (mainly plant leaves and stems) eaten by grazing livestock. Forage is not only meant for plants eaten by the animals directly as pasture, crop residue or immature cereal crops but also used more loosely to include similar plants cut for fodder and carried to the animals, especially as hay or silage. Forage crops/plants are crops annual or biennial which are grown to be utilized by grazing or harvesting as a whole crop.
(ii) Pasture plants are grasses, legumes or forage plants that grows or are grown on fields for the grazing by farm animals.

(b) Importance of legumes as a forage crop
• Leguminous plants are good in fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere as soil nitrates to increase the soil fertility.
• Legumes provide additional source of protein to farm animals.
• Most leguminous plants have long tape roots which keep to absorb moisture and leached nutrients from deep part of the soil.
•Legumes are capable of regenerating easily when served or burnt.
• Legumes as forage crop have high herbage production to provide feed all year around.
•Legumes as forage crops help to provide more balanced feed than only pure stand.
• Legumes have the ability to outgrow weeds there removing the treat of weeds in forage farms or rangelands.
• Legumes have high digestibility, voluntary intake due to high soluble cell content and a quicker microbial access to cell walls which result in faster rate of digestion.
•They are easy to be established as they do not need additional fertilization.


Question 6.
(a) (i) What is silage?
(ii) Describe how silage is prepared.
(iii) State three qualities of good silage.

(b) Discuss rabbit production under the following headings.
(i) Housing (ii) Feeding
(iii) Breeding (iv) Sanitation



(a) Silage and silage preparation and their characteristics
(i) Silage is fresh green forage preserved by partial fermentation (i.e. preservation and storage in the absence of air during its preparation).
(ii) Preparing of silage
•Silage preparation is technically referred to as ensilage. Most hay crops are also suitable for ensilage. Silage preparation consist of the following steps
• Cut fodders just before it reaches the following
• The fodder is dropped into pieces (2.5 to 10cm).
•Chopped fodders are loaded in a pit or tower silo.
• In preparation the pH of 6-7 at the ‘beginning of silage is gradually brought to 3.8-4.2
• The temperature for silage preparation should be between 10-380C
• For ensiling young grass and legumes, additives such as molasses or ground grains should be incorporated to accelerate rate fermentation.
• The loaded pit is fully compressed to ensure total compaction rising a heavy tractor or any suitable means.
•The silo is then soil-sealed and covered with tarpaulin to protect it from rain and sun.
•Heavy materials such as stones, blocks etc. are placed on the cover to prevent it from being blown by wind.

(iii) Characteristics or Qualities of a good silage
•A good silage should be free from mould and rotten material.
• A good silage is normally green of brownish in colour. The moisture content-and colouring should be uniform.
•It should have pleasant taste (not sharp or bitter).
It should have pleasant smell in contrast to a foul smell of poor quality silage.
•It should have high animal acceptance (i.e. should be palatable).

(b) Production of Rabbits
•Rabbit-keeping generally uses one of three systems: battery, hatch or free-range (underground system).
•Rabbits can only be properly reared under the intensive management system involving the use of battery cages and hutches.
• The use of burrows (underground system) is still not very common in our part of the world.
•The hatches are usually made of wood-wire and all metal hutches.
• A hutch is built to give maximum comfort to the animals and this gives good ventilation without draughts.
•The hatch should also protect rabbits against bad weather and natural enemies like dog, cats and snakes.
• The welded mesh (about 1.28 cm wire mesh) and roofing material of aluminium sheets or wood covered with felt material.
•Other cheap material like bamboo and wire netting can also be used.
• The roof of the hutch has to be well built to give cool temperatures and prevent excessive humidity inside the hutch.
•The roof should be gentle slopping.
•The floor has to be well laid to prevent the bunnies from coming out of the hutch.
•A kindling box should also be provided in all rabbit houses

(ii) Feeding
•Rabbits are rodents whose main feeds are grasses, green herbs and leaves.
•Rabbits may eat a little during the day and rest.
• Feeding material should be cheap and should not be part of staple food of people.
•Well-balanced ration made up of protein, carbohydrates, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins and water.
• The ration should be processed in pellets or in a mesh form to avoid wastages.
• All feed for rabbits should not be stale or rancid as these feeds gets into their nostrils and causes irritation and sneezing.
• Cool clean drinking water should be provided at all times.
• All feeds should be less succulent (juicy) especially those meant for bunnies, nursing mothers and pregnant does. This is to prevent diarrhoea.
•A rabbit feeding trough should be 30cm by 8cm by 5cm deep and watering bowl (plastic or earthenware dish of 10cm-20cm diameter may be used.
• Rabbits eat more in the night than during the day and this should be a guiding principle when designing their feeding regime.

(iii) Breeding
•The selection of rabbits for breeding is based on their fertility, growth rate, mothering ability and disease resistance.
• The buck (male rabbits) should have a sand scrotum with well-developed two balls of testicles, well-built body and shaped.
•In breeding one buck is capable of serving 10-20 does.
•Start breeding by keeping one buck and 10 does.
• At age 5-7 months both bucks and does are considered as matured for breeding.
•All forms of in-breeding should be avoided.
•The gestation period ranges from 30-32 days. In a litter a doe is capable of raising 6 to 8 bunnies (young rabbits).
• Good breeding programme enables does to have four (4) litters in a year.
• Does wean bunnies at 6 weeks old and rest for two (2) weeks after a gestation period of four (4) weeks.
•Male and female young rabbits should be separated at an early age of 3months to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

(iv) Sanitation: Sanitation is important in keeping rabbits
• Hutch should be kept clean always to prevent diseases and pests attack.
• Sawdust in hutch should be replaced every 3 days or as often as possible as the litter appears soiled.
• The hutch should be scrubbed and disinfected with a mild antiseptic solution. A few drops of Dettol or Izal in water can serve as a good disinfectant.
• The rabbit feeders should be removed and washed every day.
•Rabbits manure should not be allowed to pile up under hutch but should be removed and placed in areas where it is needed.
• Sanitation is important in rabbit keeping because they are attached by a number of diseases including diarrhoea, coccidiosis, ear canker and pests such as lice, flees, ticks, tapeworms and mites. In all these the best prevent measures is by adopting excellent sanitation in rabbit hutch.