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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2000;13(9): 1228-1234.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2000.1228    Published online September 1, 2000.
Nutrient Intake and Utilization by Range Managed Sheep in Critical Physiological Stages Maintained on Grazing with Concentrate Supplementation in a Hot Semi-Arid Environment
S. A. Karim, A. Santra, V. Sharma
The reported study was conducted on range managed Malpura ewes that were non-breeding empty, were at an advanced stage of pregnancy, and were in early lactation, under a protocol of free grazing with concentrate supplementation at 1.00, 1.25 and 1.50% of their body weight to assess their plane of nutrition and nutrient intake. The biomass yield of pasture plots was 1689, 1820 and 2912 kg/ha in pregnancy, lactation and empty phases, respectively. In addition to natural shrubs and forbs, Cenchrus ciliaris (36.4%) and dead litter (31.6%) were the major component of pasture vegetation during pregnancy. The dead litter disappeared during the lactation and empty phase with a concomitant increase in distribution of Cenchrus ciliaris to 73.0 and 87.2% respectively. The daily dry matter consumption from supplemental concentrate and free grazing was 70.1, 57.3 and 63.5 g/kg W0.75/d with concentrate to roughage ratio of 40:60, 47:53 and 33:67 in pregnancy, lactation and empty phases respectively. Digestibility of DM and OM were similar in the three phases while CP digestibility was higher (p<0.01) during lactation than other two phases. Digestibility of NDF, ADF and cellulose were higher (p<0.01) in empty than pregnancy and lactation, while hemicellulose digestibility was similar in lactation and empty and lower in pregnancy phase. The ewes in phases of pregnancy, lactation and empty consumed 7.1, 7.7 and 6.1 g DCP and 197.2, 214.6 and 232.5 kcal DE/kg W0.75/d respectively. It is concluded that ewes maintained on semi-arid Cenchrus dominated pasture with concentrate supplementation during pregnancy, lactation and empty phases consumed 45.2, 45.1 and 35.2 g DCP/Mcal ME respectively.
Keywords: Sheep; Range Management; Nutrient Utilization; Maintenance; Pregnancy; Lactation
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