University of Nigeria OER Competition | Register Here
Taste preferences of pregnant West African dwarf (WAD) ewes were studied at different trimester periods using the multiple choice preference test method. A total of twelve WAD ewes of average body weight of 15.96 ± 4.17 kg, divided into two groups (A and B) were used for the study. Six pregnant ewes (in group A) served as the experimental group while the remaining six non pregnant ones (in group B) served as the control group. Preferences for test solutions; sucrose (sweet), salt, 0.09 % quinine sulphate (QS, bitter), 10 % solution of sodium hydrogen trioxocarbobnate (Na2HCO3, sour) and glutamic acid (GA, umami) were investigated compared to water. The preference result showed that pregnant WAD ewes at early trimester had strongest mean preference for Na2HCO3, sour taste (8431 ± 6.37 %) and moderate mean preference for (76.48 ± 6.11%) for bitter taste compared to other test solutions that were either non discrimnated or weakly preferred. At mid trimester, they showed moderate preference (71.15 ± 2.99 %) for sucrose which was highest compared to other test solutions that were either weaklypreferred (60.08 ± 7.04 % quinine sulphate; 68.34 ± 3.86 % Na
2HCO3), weakly rejected (45.13 ± 4.16 %, salt) or non discriminated (51.94 ± 6.14 %, GA). At late trimester, thepreference for sucrose was strong and highest (89.43 ± 6.76 %) as well as GA (80.16 ±4.95 %) compared to moderate preference for Na2HCO3 (76.14 ± 6.48 %), and rejection for salt (41.36 ± 5.73 %) and QS (28.14 ± 3.96 %). The results of this study have shown that pregnant WAD ewes respond differently to different tastants at different trimester periods. This information could serve as useful physiologic guide in appetite stimulation and probably explains the voluntary food selection behavior of the WAD ewes, during pregnancy.