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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2004;17(1): 46-52.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2004.46    Published online January 1, 2004.
Effect of Varying Levels of Dietary Minerals on Growth and Nutrient Utilization in Lambs
L. C. Sharma, P. S. Yadav, A. B. Mandal, K. R. Sunaria
Hisardale male lambs (n=24, 4-5 month of age) were maintained on a conventional ration for a month, to equilibrate the body mineral status. Six lambs were sacrificed after one month of feeding; the samples of organs were analyzed to ascertain mineral status. The remaining 18 lambs were divided into 3 groups of 6 each on body weight basis. Three dietary treatments containing 100 (T1), 110 (T2) and 120% (T3) of minerals (Ca, P, S, Zn and Mn) as specified by NRC (1985) were formulated and each treatment was alloted ad libitum to a group for 120 days. Blood and wool samples were collected at monthly intervals. At the end of the experiment a balance trial of 5 days duration was conducted to study the balance of mineral elements. The effective intake of minerals was Ca, 111 and 120, P, 110 and 122; S, 112 and 129; Zn, 112 and 126 and Mn, 109 and 123 percent in T2 and T3, respectively, in comparison to T1 (100). The additional mineral supplementation had no significant effect on dry matter intake. The average daily weight gain was higher (p<0.01) in T2 and T3 than the control (T1). The lambs under treatments T2 (8.72) and T3 (8.47 kg) consumed apparently lesser amount of dry matter per unit gain as compared to T1 (10.81 kg). Significantly higher (p<0.05) dry matter and crude protein digestibility (%) were observed in T2 and T3 than in T1. The mean balances for different elements were Ca, 1.14, 1.68 and 1.67 g; P, 1.70, 1.95 and 2.18 g; S, 0.54, 0.92 and 1.11 g; Zn, 22.56, 25.30 and 28.71 mg; Cu, 7.94, 5.71 and 5.53 mg; Fe, 33.19, 32.94 and 31.03 mg and Mn, 8.24, 14.40 and 16.07 mg/lamb/day. The retention of supplemental minerals increased (p<0.01) while that of Cu decreased (p<0.01) due to supplementation of minerals (Ca, P, S, Zn and Mn). Retention as per cent of intake increased statistically for S and Mn while that of Cu decreased. It can be concluded that supplementation of minerals (Ca, P, S, Zn and Mn) higher than the recommended level improved body weight gain and feed to gain ratio. The retention of minerals increased due to supplementation. Therefore, an additional supplementation of deficient minerals (Ca, P, S, Zn and Mn) by 10% was beneficial for Hisardale male lambs under tropical condition in India.
Keywords: Minerals; Supplementation; Sheep; Requirements; Growth; Nutrient Utilization

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