, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 221-229

The comparative haematology of cross-bred and indigenous East African goats of Tanzania and breeds reared in Denmark

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Abstract

Erythrocyte counts, haematocrit, haemoglobin concentration, red blood cell indices, total and differential leukocyte counts were determined in 202 cross-bred and 14 indigenous East African goats aged 6–12 months and also in 59 Norwegian dairy goats, of which 24 were 15–45 days old, 8 were 8 months old and 27 were over 3 years and pregnant. These were reared in Tanzania. Comparisons were made with 24 Dwarf and 57 Danish Landrace goats at 6–12 months of age and 76 adult pregnant Danish Landrace goats reared in Denmark. The purpose was to determine reference ranges for cross-bred and indigenous East African goats and to compare these with those of other breeds. The haemoglobin concentration, haematocrit, erythrocyte and white blood cells were lowest in the Norwegian kids. The highest values were observed in 6–12-month-old goats in all the breeds, whereafter they decreased to relatively constant adult levels. The mean corpuscular volumes were highest in kids followed by adult pregnant Norwegian and Danish Landrace goats, and lowest in 6–12 months old goats. East African and cross-bred goats had the smallest mean corpuscular volumes. The haemoglobin concentration, erythrocyte and leukocyte counts were highest in indigenous East African, followed by young Norwegian and cross-bred goats. The mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration was highest in the cross-breds, while the mean corpuscular haemoglobin was higher in pregnant than in other goats. The age and breed differences were statistically significant.