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Productive and Reproductive Traits of Sheep Fed Acacia saligna Leaves-Based Diets

Journal: International Journal of Environment, Agriculture and Biotechnology (Vol.2, No. 6)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 2829-2840

Keywords : Feed additives; digestibility; rumen fermentation; blood metabolites; prolificacy;

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Investigating effects of partial (50%) or total (100%) substitution of clover hay by tannins-rich plant (Acacia saligna) on productive and reproductive performance of ewe lambs was the main goal of this study. Two experiments were conducted: first focusing on digestibility and N balance using 9 Barky rams (live body weight, 43 ± 2.5 kg) where animals were randomly divided into 3 groups (n = 3); control (C), 50% Acacia (AS50%) and 100% Acacia (AS100%); second focusing on productive and reproductive performance of ewe-lambs (n=18) where animals were divided into three groups (n=6); C, AS50% and AS100%. This experiment started 2 months before mating and continued till weaning. Dry matter intake decreased (P<0.05) linearly due with treatment. The digestion coefficients of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) were lower (P<0.05) in treated than C. The nitrogen intake and urinary nitrogen were reduced (P<0.05) by treatment, while fecal nitrogen increased (P<0.0%) with treatment. No change was found in conception rates among the three groups whereas fertility rates and lambing rates were higher in the treated compared to the control. AS100% reduced (P<0.05) total protein and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) compared to other groups. No differences in progesterone concentration were found among groups. AS50% resulted in higher (P<0.05) milk yield than other groups. Treatment decreased (P<0.05) milk fat percentage, whereas didn't change protein and lactose. Therefore, partial replacement of acacia leaves in sheep diets could be beneficial for productive and reproductive performance

Last modified: 2017-11-15 02:01:30