Livestock Research for Rural Development 31 (8) 2019 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD Newsletter

Citation of this paper

Growth performance and fecal worm egg count of West African dwarf goats fed diets containing varying levels of Ocimum gratissimum (Scent leaf)

K O Adebayo, R Y Aderinboye, K A Sanwo1, I K Oyewusi2 and O A Isah

Department of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
1 Department of Animal Production and Health, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
2 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria


A study was carried out to determine the growth performance and fecal worm egg count of twenty West African dwarf goats fed Ocimum gratissimum (scent leaf) as additive in a concentrate supplement. The goats were divided into four treatment groups with five replicates in a completely randomized design. Four concentrate supplements (OG0, OG5, OG10 and OG15) were formulated to containO. gratissimum at levels 0,5,10, and 15g/kg DM. Panicum maximum was the basal diet. Chemical composition of scent leaf and the diets were determined; fecal samples were collected from the goats before the experiment and fortnightly thereafter to determine fecal worm egg count. Feed intakes and weight gain of the goats were also monitored.

Scent leaf had moderate crude protein of 10.6% and was rich in tannin, saponin and oxalate. Scent leaf inclusion in the diet had no effect on feed intake and weight gain. The highest percentage reduction in the fecal egg count (30%) was obtained in goats fed 10g/kg DM scent leaf. The lowest percentage of reduction in the worm egg count (10%) was obtained in the control. It can be concluded that scent leaf can be included in the diets of West African dwarf goats at 15g/kg DM with no deleterious effect on growth.

Key words: feed additive, feed intake, weight gain, helminths


Diseases caused by helminths in small ruminants have continued to be a major productivity constraint in the tropics and subtropics (Verissimo et al 2012; Mini et al 2013). In the developing countries, their impact is being felt on increased production cost and productivity losses (Ombasa et al 2012). Mini (2012) claimed that nematodes are the most important of the helminths in terms of prevalence and adverse effects on animal health and productivity. Their effects have resulted in poor growth (Mini 2012), lower productivity (Ombasa et al 2012), mortality (Mohammed et al 2013) and high economic losses (Alemu et al 2014) all of which affect the livelihood of the cash-constraint farmer in developing countries. Herbal preparations have been identified as viable alternatives and are currently being adopted in many parts of the world for the treatment of diseases (Pattanayak et al 2010). The availability of medicinal plants has inspired advancement of this development with many modern scientists showing keen interest since in most cases, the search would lead to the discovery of new agents with high potency and less side effects (Gupta and Briyal 2004; Pattanayak et al 2010).

Ocimum gratissimum has a characteristic pleasant aroma which has often been linked to its content of volatile oil (Ayinla et al 2011). The plant is well known in medicine and has severally been applied in animal health management for the treatment of diseases such as gastrointestinal diseases (Offiah and chukwuedu 1999), diarrhoea (Sofowora 1993), fungal and bacterial infections (Orafidiya et al 2000; Akah et al 2007). The potentials of herbs as substitute to the use of synthetic chemicals in animal health management have been reported by several authors (Pattanayak et al 2010; Gupta and Briyal 2004). Several plants such as Neem (Azadiracta indica), Papaya ( carica papaya) and Basil/scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum) have been reported by several authors to be medicinal (Anthony et al 2005; Hoste et al 2002; Costa et al 2006). Scent leaf ( Ocimum gratissimum) has also emerged as a medicinal plants and its use as an antibiotics has been reported in poultry (Oleforuh-Okoleh et al 2015), sheep and goats (Orafidiya et al 2000; Akah et al 2007). It is also reported that Ocimum gratissimum has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea and its functions as an anti-inflammation (Esonu 2004). However, a dearth of published information exist on the effect of scent leaf meal on fecal worm egg count in West African Dwarf goats, hence, the need for this research.

Materials and methods

Experimental site

The study was carried out at the Small Ruminant Unit of the Directorate of University Farms and Animal Nutrition laboratory of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) Ogun State, Nigeria. Ogun State is in the rainforest zone of South West Nigeria. The area has an annual mean temperature of 34.7C, a relative humidity of 82% and an annual mean rainfall of 1,037 mm. It is about 70 m above sea level and lies on latitude 75'-78'N and longitude 311.2'E.

Processing of test materials and Formulation of diets

Ocimum gratissimum (Figure 1) leaves were harvested from villages around the University and air-dried for 3-5days after which they were ground to pass through 1mm sieve and used in diet formulation. The dietary treatments consisted of a basal diet (Panicum maximum) and concentrate supplement formulated to contain O. gratissimum as an additive at levels 0, 5, 10 and 15g/kg DM (Table 1). The diets; basal and concentrate supplement were offered to the animals at 5% of their body weight in a ratio of 60:40 respectively.

Figure 1. Ocimum gratissimum (Scent leaf/ Basil)

Table 1. Gross composition of concentrate diets (%)






Wheat offal





Maize bran





Palm kernel cake





Bone meal










*Scent leaf










Crude protein





Crude fibre





-, +, ++ and +++ means 0, 5, 10 and 15g/kg DM Ocimum gratissimum inclusion levels

Experimental animals and management

Twenty West African dwarf goats with a range of live weight of 7.38 - 8.53kg were purchased from the flock of small holder goat farmers in villages around the University. The goats were kept in the quarantine section for two weeks to monitor their health. They were maintained onPanicum maximum grass and concentrate and clean water was supplied ad libitum. They were thereafter divided into four treatment groups of five animals each on weight equalization basis and housed in individual pens. The study comprised 14 days of adaptation followed by 12 weeks feeding trial. The diets were offered at 8:00am in the morning and 12.00pm in the afternoon. The concentrate was offered first and then the basal grass in separate feeding trough. Left over of the feed offered was weighed and recorded every morning. Live weights of the animals were taken on the first day of the experiment and thereafter fortnightly throughout the experiment.

Chemical analyses

Oven dried feed samples were analyzed for their proximate composition according to AOAC (2000). Neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF) and acid detergent lignin (ADL) were determined by the methods of Van Soest et al (1991).

Fecal samples collection and Analysis

Fecal samples of about 4g were obtained directly from the rectum of each goat at the beginning of the experiment and at two week intervals for identification of helminth eggs using floatation techniques (Ameen et al 2010). The modified McMaster egg-counting technique was used for nematode count

Statistical analysis

Data were subjected to one-way analysis of variance in a completely randomized design using version 9.1 of SAS software (SAS 2003) with the following model Yij = + Ti + eij, Where Yij= Observed variation, = Population mean, Ti = effect of ith diets (1-4), eij = error term..  Means were separated using Duncan’s procedure of the same software.

Results and Discussion

Scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum) is rich in nutrients (Table 2). Scent leaf is rich in tannin, oxalate and saponin, phytate, alkaloids, phenols and trypsin inhibitor. According to Sofowora (1993) these chemical substances possess antimicrobial, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and immune-modulatory properties. The result is in line with the report of Akujobi et al (2004) that scent leaf is rich in glycosides, tannins, saponins and alkaloids.

Table 2. Chemical composition of scent
leaf (Ocimum gratissimum)


Dry matter, %


% in DM

Crude protein


Crude fibre


Ether extract
















Trypsin inhibitor (TUI/mg)


O. gratissimum at the varying inclusion levels did not have any deleterious effect on weight gain and feed conversion ratio (Table 3).

Table 3. Growth performance of West African dwarf goats fed experimental diets







Live weight, kg















Gain, g/d







eed intake, g/d







DM feed conversion







Means in the same row without common superscript are different at p<0.05)

Goats fed scent leaf 10g/kg DM inclusion level had the lowest fecal egg count at the end o the experiment (Table3).. The reduction in the counts of goats fed scent leaf diets could be attributed to the presence of antinutritional factors especially tannin and phenols. Higher concentrations of tannins in plant species have been found to help control certain internal parasites of animals (Butter et al 2000). Tannins have direct anthelmintic properties whereby they lower infections by gastro-intestinal nematodes, thereby reducing larva migration and development and directly minimising abomasal and intestinal infections (Kahn and Diaz-Hernandez 2000). Njidda and Ikhimioya (2010) reported that tannins have many beneficial effects which include anthelmintic property, direct reduction of abdominal and intestinal infections and provision of by-pass protein for absorption in the intestines. Udoha et al (2015) also reported that anthelmintic activity shown by O. gratissimum may be due to presence of phenolic compounds in the extract. Phenolic compounds have been reported to exact strong antihelmintic activity (Feireira et al 2013). Our results support the findings of Pessoa et al (2002) that essential oil of O. gratissimum can be utilized as an aid to the control of gastrointestinal helmitosis of small ruminants. The author reported that essential oil of O. gratissimum were efficient in inhibiting eclodibility of Haemonchus contortus. According to Udoha et al (2015) O. gratissimum leaf extract may contain principles with strong antihelminthic property and could be used in the treatment of worm infestation particularly Heligmosomoides bakeri type. No previous publication was found on the antihelminthic activity of O. gratissimum leaf meal

Table 4. Fecal worm egg count of West African dwarf goats fed experimental diets








Initial count, eggs/g







Final count, eggs/g







% reduction







Means in the same row without common superscript are different at p<0.05)



The authors wish to acknowledge Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) for funding this research.


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Received 8 July 2019; Accepted 16 July 2019; Published 1 August 2019

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