Assessment of the welfare of goats in Lyama sub-county, Budaka district
MetadataShow full item record
This study set out to assess the hitherto unknown welfare of goats in Lyama sub-county, Budaka district where they are kept mainly for subsistence. The welfare of goats was assessed using parameters included in the welfare assessment protocols by Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) project. The scoring systems used in assessment largely depended on visual inspection. The reliability of the parameters used in the assessment scoring systems was statistically confirmed by AWIN. Data was collected from 380 goats and 46 farmers found in randomly selected households from 16 villages within the 4 parishes of Lyama sub-county. All goats regardless of their breed, sex or age had equal probability of being included in the sample. A pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire was administered to consenting farmers to establish resource-based indicators of welfare and goat-based physical indicators of welfare were established through observations guided by a checklist. Data collected was analysed using SPSS software. Results showed that all goats were kept in extensive systems with abundant natural pastures that composed the main feed resource. The majority of the goats 92.9% were tethered and the rest (7.1%) were communally grazed. Most of the former (98.9%) were periodically relocated from the tether sites to access fresh grass. All the communally grazed goats were not mixed with other species of livestock. Supplementary feeding was provided to (59.2%) of the goats making majority (92.1%) of the goats to have access to a diet that maintains full health and vigour. Queuing at feeding and kneeling at the feeding rack which are indicators of difficulty to access feed were not noticed in a big proportion (91.3%) of the goats. All goats were reportedly provided with water, (59.2%) of the goats received sufficient water supply while (40.8%) were given water only once a day. Majority of the goats (90.3%) were given water from clean fresh water sources. Queuing at drinking which was an indicator of difficulty in having ready access to enough fresh water was not noticed in a big proportion (71.6%) of the goats. Results showed that all the goat-based indicators of welfare were in a good state in majority of the goats and majority of resource-based indicators of welfare were in a good state except for a few of them which needed to be improved. Comprehensively, it was concluded that goats in Lyama sub-county were in a good state of welfare.