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WASSCE Animal Husbandry 2015 – Paper 2

WASSCE Animal Husb. 2015 Sect. B


Question 1.
(a) State two characteristics of eggs to be selected for hatching.
(b) Explain six causes of low egg production in layers.
(c) Outline the steps involved in preparing broilers from slaughter to marketing stage.


(a) Characteristics of eggs for hatching
Colour (brown/white): The colour of the eggs should be brown or white.
Clean eggs: The eggs should be clean devoid of any form of dirt.
Smooth-shelled eggs: The eggs for hatching should be smooth not rough.
No cracks: The eggs for hatching should be devoid of any form of cracks.
Oval shaped: The eggs for hatching should be oval in shape but not round.
Single yolked: Single yolked eggs are ideal for hatching, double yolked egss should be avoided.
50-60g in weight: The ideal weight of eggs selected for hatching should be between 50-60g. Lesser weight egss should be discarded.
Fertile: Eggs for hatching should be a fertile resulting from sexual activity between males and females not those laid by only females.
Thick-shelled: Relatively thinned eggs shell should not be selected for hatching.

(b) Causes of low egg production in layers
Age of bird: As a laying bird ages, the number of eggs laid reduce. Egg production is also relatively low in younger birds.

Incidence of disease: Diseases mpair the physiological function of the birds hence poor egg production. Birds also use energy to fight the diseases they are suffering from.

Pests Infestation: Birds become listless, stressful and pests can deprive birds of nutrients leading to low egg production. Pests may also transmit diseases.

Low quality of feed: When nutrient imbalance occur, it leads to low egg production.

Low quantity of feed: Low quality feed may not provide sufficient energy for maintenance of body activities also underfeeding of birds also lead to low egg production.

Inadequate supply of water: Egg contains a lot of water hence if water intake is inadequate, egg production will be low.

Breed of Birds: Certain breeds are naturally poor layers. If poor breeds are selected, low egg laid may occur.

Poor Housing: Poor ventilation, windy conditions, leakages etc. may dispose birds to disease and stress hence low egg production.

Frequent Disturbance: Frequent disturbances resulting from the removal of litter, removal of eggs, all creates noisy condition, and create pressure on laying birds resulting in low egg production of birds.

Intensity and Duration of light: High light intensity creates stress resulting in low. egg production. With extended light, birds consume more feed, put on fat and become broody resulting in low egg production.

Broodiness in Layers: Broody hens do not lay eggs due to hormonal imbalance.

Overfeeding: Birds which put on weight/ fat due to overfeeding by birds lead to low poor production.

Moulting of Birds: Period of moulting is a resting stage and this lead to low egg production.

Cannibalism among birds: Birds that are pecked and put under stress and this lead to poor egg production.

Stress: Other stressful conditions such as extremes of temperature, deworming, vaccination can cause egg production to drop drastically.

(c)Steps involved in preparing boilers from slaughtering to marketing stage

Plucking of feathers
Pinning/ singeing
Cutting off neck
Giblet preparation
Chilling/ storage

Question 2.
(a) Name five distinct regions of the vertebral column of a cow.
(b) State one specialized function of each of the regions of the vertebral column of a
(c) Explain each of the following terms as used in animal production:
(i) Rumination (ii) Lactation.
(d) Give four reasons for providing a new-born calf with colostrum.


(a) Main regions of the vertebral column of a sheep / cow

(b) Specialized functions of the regions of the vertebral column of a sheep / cow Cervical region: This region allows head movement in all directions / supports the head. Thoracic region: This region is the site of attachment of the ribs/it supports the ribs.

Lumbar region: This is the site of attachment of apaxial muscles and muscles for breathing thereby supporting the abdominal region.
Sacral region: This is the site of attachment of hind limbs / pelvic girdle.
Coccygeal/caudal: This is the site for insertion of the muscles that move the tail / supports the tail.

(c) Explanation of terms as used in animal husbandry
(i) Rumination: It is the process whereby food swallowed into the rumen is returned into the mouth for rechewing. The process involves regurgitation, rechewing, resalivation and reswallowing. It is achieved by an anti-peristatic movement in the tract.
(ii) Lactation: It is the physiological process of milk production and subsequent release by the mother to the new born animal from birth to the point of drying up. It is under the influence of prolactin and adrenal corticoid hormones. It is inhibited during pregnancy by progesterone.

(d) Reasons for providing a new-born calf with colostrum
Source of good quality protein in the animals.
It has high digestibility and therefore easily absorbable into the body system.
Rich source of vitamins to the new-born animals.
It has laxative effect and therefore gives free movement of the bowels.
Contains antibodies which protect the new-born animal against maternal diseases.
Contains minerals eg. Calcium and phosphorus which are very helpful to the young animals..

3.(a) Explain each of the following terms as used in poultry production:
(i) Brooding; (ii) Sexing.
(b) State four advantages and three disadvantages of the deep litter system of poultry keeping.
(c) (i) Explain the term castration.
(ii) Give three reasons for carrying out castration.
(d) List two methods of animal improvement.


(a) Explanation of terms as used in poultry
(i) Brooding It is the care of chicks between ages of one day-old to four (4) weeks when chicks in confinement are provided with warmth, food, water, medication and protected from predators. It enhances growth. It could be done naturally by the mother hen or artificially by using a brooding equipment
(ii) Sexing It is the process of identifying male and female day-old birds in commercial poultry production. The methods used are: sex-linked genes eg. feather sexing, colour sexing, local identification, and examination of rudimentary male organs.
Sexing is essential to separate poulets from cockerels so as to expose them to different management conditions that would enhance productivity.

(b) Advantages of deep litter system
Animals are protected from harsh weather conditions, predators etc
Promotes efficiency in management.
It reduces loss of eggs.
Can be used to produce fertile eggs for hatching.
Energy from food goes into production as birds do not roam about looking for food.
Wood shavings are cheap as bedding materials act as an insulator.
Record keeping is enhanced.
Inbreeding can be easily controlled.
Management of sick animals can be carried out easily.
More animals can be kept within a limited space.
Feeding and feeds can be monitored.

Disadvantages of deep litter system .
Birds have less freedom of movement hence less exercise than in the extensive system. Fowls do not get access to insects and greens to supplement their feed.
Initial cost of housing is high/high financial outlay /or is capital intensive.
Feeding cost is very high.
Poultry vices are encouraged especially when overcrowded.
Eggs are prone to breakage when they are laid on the ground.
Eggs get dirty and contaminated if not collected early.
Labour cost is very high.
Diseases spread easily because animals are in close contact with each other.
Manure disposal is a major problem and may cause environmental pollution.

(c) (i) Castration It is the act of removing the testicles or crushing the spermatic cord to render the male animal incapable of producing sperms.
(ii) Reasons for castration
Improved texture of meat.
Male animals become more docile and easier to handle.
It removes characteristics odour from male animals eg. Goats.
It ensures that only desired males breed to avoid indiscriminate breeding
To make bulls muscular for work.
Prevent transmission of veneral diseases.
Enables the animal to put on weight/fast growth.
Makes meat tender.

(d) Methods of animal improvement
Selection (any type of selection).
Breeding (any type of breeding).

4.(a) List at least three breeds of livestock indigenous to West Africa
(i) Humpless cattle (ii) Zebu cattle (iii)sheep
(b) State five ways in which ruminant livestock are of socio-cultural importance to man.
(c) State four disadvantages of keeping animals in a kraal.


(a) Breeds of livestock indigenous to West Africa
(i) Humpless cattle
West African Short horn/ Muturu

(ii) Hump cattle .
White Fulani
Red Bororo /Rahaji
Sokoto Gudali/Adamawa
Sanga Biu Zebu cattle
(iii) Sheep
Gezira / Ouda / Uda
Numgua Blackhead
West African Dwarf
Fouta Djallon/Djalonke

(b) Ways in which ruminant livestock are of socio-cultural importance to man.
Used in barter trade. Exchange of goods for another of similar value.
Payment of bridal price. The families of the bride demand an animal as a dowry for marriage.
Penalty/fine for some offences. For certain offences committed chiefs and elders demand an animal for settlement.
Sacrifice to appease gods and ancestors for going against the taboos / norms of the society. Sacrifice is also made to ask the gods for blessings.
Serves as status symbol, people having many livestock are seen as wealthy, influential and therefore respected.
Used for social and religious festivals. Socially, livestock are slaughtered for merry making and religiously animals are slaughtered and the blood used for cleansing.
Ruminant animals are slaughtered and used to throw party which help to unite families. A party is organized for family members and in the process disputes are settled.
Store of wealth. The number of animals a person has determines how the person has stored his wealth for future use.
Gifts for visitors/ important personality. Animals are sometimes presented to these personalities by chiefs and elders as a form of appreciation to visitors and other important personalities.
Skin/ hide as part of the chiefs regalia and as drum to call an assembly, just as horns are used.

(c) Disadvantages of keeping animals in a kraal
When animals are kept in a kraal it is easy prey for wild animals to prey on them.
Stealing of animals in kraal is easy.
Difficulty in disposal of manure when animals are kept in kraal.
Pollution due to stench when manure is wet.
When animals are kept in kraals, they become dirty and unthrifty especially when the place is wet.
Increased incidence of pests and diseases. Milk contamination can increase especially during the wet seasons.
Animals are exposed to adverse/harsh weather conditions.
Animals do not have enough exercise as it is very difficult for animals to roam about.
Indiscriminate mating may results when castration is not done appropriately and timely.

5(a) Name two sources of each of the following minerals in the diet of farm animals:
(i) phosphorus (ii) iron (iii) iodine (iv) magnesium
(b) Explain each of the following terms:
(i) Ration (ii) Metabolizable energy (iii) Gross energy
(c) State six symptoms of protein deficiency in the diet of farm animals.


(a) Sources of minerals in the diet of farm animals
Bone meal
Dicalcium phosphate premix
Fish meal
Cereal grains

(ii) Iron
Salt licks Iron injection/ iron dextrin extract
Lateritic soil/ red soil/ Iron (III) Fe₂O oxide,
Green vegetables
Blood meal
Kidney Iodine

(iii) Iodine
lodized salts
Salt lick
Fish meal
Sea weed
Calcium cordate
Potassium iodate
(iv) Magnesium
Salt lick
Wheat germs/ cereal brans
Magnesium oxide supplement
Magnesium sulphate supplement
Oil seed cakes
Magnesium carbonate

(b) Explanation of terms
(i) Ration
It is the amount of feed given to livestock during a 24-hour period. A good ration should be balanced, i.e. containing correct proportions of required nutrients. A ration could either be for maintenance or production
(ii) Metabolizable energy It is the gross energy of a unit weight of food minus the energy in urine, faeces and combustible (eructated) gas. The portion of the gross energy consumed which is utilized by the animal for work, growth, fattening, foetal development, milk production and heat production.
(iii) Gross energy It is the energy liberated on total combustion of food. If the energy contained in the faeces is taken away the difference is metabolizable energy

(c)Symptoms of protein deficiency in the diet of farm animals
Loss of appetite
Reduced rate of growth
Lower milk production
Low birth weights/reduced productivity e.g. milk, egg
Reduced immunity / low resistance to disease
Rough feathers / loss of hair/ feathers
Poor hatchability

6.(a) State two roles of each of the following hormones in farm animals:
(i) testosterone (ii) estrogens: (iii) jesterone.
(b) Explain five causes of infertility in farm animals.
(c) Name four tools required on a well-managed cattle farm


Roles of hormones in farm animals
(i) Testosterone
It stimulates the development of male secondary sex characteristics.
It stimulates sex drive / libido.
It helps in the transport of sperms.
It maintains optimum conditions for sperm production for sperm formation.

(ii) Oestrogen
It stimulates the production of female secondary characteristics.
It initiates and sustains heat in the farm animal.
It Increases blood supply to the uterus.
It maintains water content of the uterus.
It stimulates the development of mammary glands in pregnant animals.
It increases mucus secretion in the vagina
It prevents infection in the uterus.
Promotes production of eggs.

(iii) Progesterone
It prepares uterine lining for implantation of the embryo.
It controls implantation/ i.e responsible for implantation of embryo in the womb
It prevents the ripening of more follicles.
It inhibits oestrus (heat) during pregnancy.
It helps in the development of mammary glands in pregnant animals.
It maintains the pregnancy during the gestation period.

(b) Causes of infertility in farm animals
Presence of corpus luteum. This prevents oestrus as more eggs will not get ripen.
Abnormal, immature or dead sperms or poor quality sperms. These sperms . cannot fertilize the ova, hence infertility may occur.
Malfunctioning of ovaries/ testes due to injury. Deficiency of nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals can affect reproduction of gametes and hormones etc.
Diseases can make animals infertile by infecting the testes or female genital tract e.g. brucellosis.
Blocked oviduct due to tumours etc could prevent movement of egg or sperms. Cysted ovaries cannot release ova.
Genetic/heritable/congenital abnormalities can lead to infertility.
Heat stress e.g high temperature affects libido and other physiological functions related to reproduction hence infertility.
Poor male to female ratio deprives the female of service and hinders. pregnancy, hence infertility.

(c) Tools required in a well-managed cattle farm
Burdizzo/ emasculator
Hoof trimmer Branding tool
Restraining rope
Tag applicator
Wheel barrow