African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 5816

Full Length Research Paper

Relative forage preference by camel (Camelus dromedarius) as influenced by season, sex and age in the Sahel zone of north western Nigeria

Alkali, H. A.
  • Alkali, H. A.
  • Department of Animal Science, Federal University, Kashere, P.M.B. 0182, Gombe State, Nigeria.
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Muhammad B. F.
  • Muhammad B. F.
  • Federal College of Education (Technical), Bichi, Kano State, Nigeria.
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Njidda, A. A.
  • Njidda, A. A.
  • Department of Animal Science, Federal University, Kashere, P.M.B. 0182, Gombe State, Nigeria.
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Abubakar, M.
  • Abubakar, M.
  • Animal Production Program, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Bauchi State, Nigeria.
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Ghude, M. I.
  • Ghude, M. I.
  • Veterinary Section, Nassarawa Local Government Council, Kano State, Nigeria.
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  •  Received: 13 November 2016
  •  Accepted: 14 December 2016
  •  Published: 05 January 2017

Abstract

A study on effect of age, sex and seasonal variation in forage preference of camel was conducted in the Sudano-Sahelian zone of north western Nigeria. A total number of 12 camels were used in the study. Data were collected at an interval of 5 min for each category of animal for 3 consecutive days in dry and rainy seasons using scan sampling method. Based on the observation, the number of plants preferred in this study by young camel calves was less than that preferred by matured camel. Matured animals consume mostly diversified, thorny and taller plant species which might not be easily accessed by the camel calves. Leptadania hastata was found to be the most preferred forage during the rainy season, while Ziziphus mauritiana was the preferred forage during dry season with mean feeding time of 87.33 and 46.66 min/day, respectively; while the least preferred forage during the rainy and dry seasons were Acacia sieberiana and Bauhinia rufescens with mean feeding time of 0.11 and 15.00 min/day, respectively. Browse species found in the study area are extremely important as feed for camels.

 

Key words: Camel, preference, forage, grazing.