Cultivation and use of Moringa as a nutritional and medicinal supplement for goats in central Namibia

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University of Namibia
Goats (Capra aegarus hircus) are small ruminants found in almost all parts of the world reared by both rural subsistence and commercial farmers as a sustainable source of household income and protein-food supply. About 480 million goats exist across the world, about 75% of which are found in developing countries (Boer Goat Breeder‘s Society of Namibia, 2008). Goats can be classified in a number of ways, but the simplest classification is by animal products. The three major classifications are (1) dairy, (2) fibre and (3) meat. The two other major classifications include pets or companions and goatskin breeds. Furthermore, some breeds are dual-purpose from which two products can be obtained, such as meat and milk (Flanders & Gillespie, 2015). Much of southern and western Namibia is used for small-stock farming in which goats predominate in many communal farming districts. Among the 2.5 million goats in Namibia, about 40% are Boer goats and 60% belong to indigenous breeds, and, over 65% of all goats are found in communal areas (Mendelsohn, 2006; Kruger & Lammerts-Imbuwa, 2008). Although goats are predominantly browsers that do not seem to compete with cattle and sheep when roaming freely in the natural veld (Rothauge & Engelbrecht, 2000), it is critical to feed and supplement their rations, especially during lactation, for improved production. Lactating Boer goats need 400 g of lucerne, 150 g maize and 150 g broiler litter per day, or 100 g of brewer grains supplement daily during winter (Smith, 2006). In Namibia, goats are mostly reared for meat, when the owner is too poor to own cattle. Goats, which are more popular than sheep, are milked for domestic purposes, slaughtered for household consumption and sold in times of cash needs (Schneider, 1994).
A dissertation submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Agriculture (Animal Science)