Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol 88, No 2 (2023)

Feed Intake, Ruminal Fermentation, Blood Metabolites and Growth Performance of Lambs Fed on Camelthorn (Alhagi camelorum Fisch.) Based Diets


Pages: 157-164


In order to investigate the effect of camelthorn in replacement of alfalfa and wheat straw on intake, digestibility, ruminal fermentation, blood metabolites and feedlot performance, twenty one Baluchi male lambs with an average body weight (BW) of 19.8 ± 1.1 kg were randomly assigned to three dietary treatments for 90 d. Treatments were: 1) control (without camelthorn), 2) 15% camelthorn, and 3) 30% camelthorn, based on diet dry matter (DM). There were no significant differences among treatments in case of DM intake (DMI), average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) (P > 0.05). However, a trend for lower final BW was found in lambs fed 30% camelthorn compared to control group (P < 0.1). The digestibility coefficients of nutrients were not affected by the treatments, but neutral detergent fiber (NDF) digestibility tended to decrease linearly with increasing camelthorn level (P < 0.1). Increasing camelthorn linearly increased (P < 0.05) acetate without any changes in total volatile fatty acids (VFA) concentration. A linear decreasing trend was also observed in propionate content with increasing camelthorn (P < 0.1). Dietary treatments had no significant effect on blood metabolites. However, increasing camelthorn tended to decrease the serum triglyceride concentration linearly (P < 0.1). It can be concluded that camelthorn can be substituted with alfalfa and wheat straw up to 30% of diet DM in the fattening lambs’ ration without any significant adverse effects on animal performance.


camelthorn, feedlot, halophyte, sheep

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