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This study was conducted with the aim of evaluating the modulatory effect of ascorbic acid supplementation on rectal temperature, body weight changes and percentage excitation of West African Dwarf (WAD) goats transported by road for eight hours. A total of twenty eight (28) male West African dwarf goats of eight months to one year old were used for this study. The animals were divided into four groups of seven animals each. Animal in groups A and C were given ascorbic acid at the dosage of 250 mg/kg body weight while groups B and D were only given 10ml of sterile water each. Animals in groups A and B were transported while those in groups C and D were inside the pen on the day of transportation. The rectal temperature obtained at the experimental site before and after transportation in all the groups were not significantly (p>0.05) different. On the day of journey, rectal temperature of animals rise from 38.25±0.19°C to 39.44±0.12 in group B, from 38.58±0.13 to 39.42±0.11°C in group D while it fluctuate between 38.38±0.15 and 38.00±0.15°C in group A eight hour into the journey. At the end of the journey, there was significant (p<0.05) difference between the ascorbic acid supplemented groups and non-ascorbic acid supplemented groups. The average live weight of WAD goats in kg before the transportation were 9.14±0.52, 8.85±0.58, 8.87±0.37 and 8.93±0.59 kg in groups A, B, C and D respectively. Although there was no significant (p>0.05) difference in the live weight of goats in the various groups pre and post transportation but a percentage difference of 3.06, 5.53, 3.38 and 4.45 was obtained in group A, B, C and D respectively. Weight of animals in group A (9.83±0.45 kg) and group C (9.32±o.34 kg) were higher than the weight recorded in group B (9.00±0.95 kg) and D (8.80±0.69 kg) seven days post transportation. The percentages of excitation recorded immediately after transportation in ascorbic acid supplemented groups were significantly (p<0.05) higher than the non-ascorbic acid supplemented groups.
In conclusion, transportation of WAD goats constitute stress which could have adverse effect on rectal temperature, live weight and excitability scores, thus it is recommended that ascorbic acid should be administered to goats prior to transportation to ameliorate the stress.
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