Seasonal, sex and live weight variations in feed and water consumption of adult captive African giant rats kept individually in cages
Adult African Giant rats (AGRs) (n = 231) of both sexes (117 bucks, 114 does) were live-trapped in the wild in Zaria, Nigeria. Live weight (LW), daily feed consumption (FC) and water consumption (WC) of the AGRs were measured during ...
the cold-dry (CDS), hot-dry (HDS) and rainy (RS) seasons for 2 years with the aim of determining seasonal, sex and LW variations. Feed consumption was significantly different (p < 0.001) between all the seasons, with the lowest mean value recorded during the HDS, while the highest was obtained during the RS. Water consumption was also lowest (p < 0.001) during the HDS but did not differ significantly (p > 0.05) between the CDS and RS. Both feed and water consumptions were higher (p < 0.01) in the males (bucks) than the females (does) during the CDS and HDS, but the sex difference was not significant (p > 0.05) during the RS. Feed consumption correlated positively (p < 0.0001) with WC and relative humidity, but negatively (p < 0.0001) with LW, ambient temperature and heat index. In conclusion, both feed and water consumptions in AGRs decrease with increased seasonal heat and adult LW and are lower in does than in bucks during the dry seasons (CDS and HDS). Intervention may be indicated during the HDS to improve feed and water consumptions for optimal performance of the AGRs.
Title: Seasonal, sex and live weight variations in feed and water consumptions of adult captive African Giant rats (Cricetomys gambianus, Waterhouse - 1840) kept individually in cages.
Authors: Dzenda T, Ayo JO, Lakpini CA, Adelaiye AB
Source: Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 2012, march advance e-alert