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A method for estimating body conditions score (BCS) in donkeys

Vall Eric, Ebangi A.L., Abakar Oumarou. 2003. A method for estimating body conditions score (BCS) in donkeys. In : Working animals in agriculture and transport : a collection of some current research and development observations. Pearson R. Anne (ed.), Lhoste Philippe (ed.), Saastamoinen Markku (ed.), Martin Rosset William (ed.). EAAP, University of Edinburgh, CIRAD, MTT Agrifood Research Finland, INRA. Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers, pp. 93-102. (EAAP technical series, 6) ISBN 90-76998-25-6 EAAP Annual Conference. 53, Caire, Égypte, 1 September 2002/4 September 2002.

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Abstract : Over 25,000 small fanners currently use donkey power in Northern Cameroon. The donkey's working capacity is just enough for work on small farms. The donkey's nutritional status is crucial in guaranteeing sustainable energy for work. The best nutrition is far from being attained in Northern Cameroon. The study, therefore, aims to characterise the nutritional status of the working donkey, using a body condition scoring grid (BCS). The score is given for the donkey's back and flank, on a scale of 1 to 4 (emaciated, thin, average, and good) and is assigned according to the appearance of the hindquarters, spinal column and ribs. The averages of the two scores are rounded up to obtain the final score. The correlation of scores between different scorers was about 80%, which is a good indication of reproducibility. Monitoring 41 males and 34 females showed that, during the dry season, the predominant score was 3 (50-70%). From October to January, "thin" animals (BCS = 2) benefit from seasonal and pathological changes to rebuild their food reserves, while "good" animals (BCS = 4) become slightly thinner. From January to June, there is a progressive depletion of food resources leading to progressive emaciation of the animals, except pregnant females. The proportion of males with a BCS of 2 increased from 10 to 20% between the beginning and end of the dry season. In females, this proportion was larger and constant throughout the year (30 to 40%). It is therefore clear that operations to improve feeding for draught donkeys should be targeted at females.

Classification Agris : L40 - Animal structure

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Vall Eric, CIRAD-EMVT-PPA (CMR)
  • Ebangi A.L., IRAD (CMR)
  • Abakar Oumarou, IRAD (CMR)

Autres liens de la publication

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (https://agritrop.cirad.fr/515985/)

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