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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1996;9(2): 123-126.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1996.123    Published online April 1, 1996.
Impact of fourwing saltbush on feed and water intake and on blood serum profile in sheep
E. Rasool, S. Rafique, I. U. Haq, A. G. Khan, E. F. Thomson
Sixteen Hamai males were used to evaluate the influence of varying levels of fourwing saltbush hay on feed and water intakes as well as the blood serum mineral status in a completely randomized design. The animals were grouped randomly into four, with four animals in each. The four groups were randomly allotted low, medium, high and very high levels of saltbush hay supplementation in addition to wheat straw. The animals were given fresh water at free of choice. Weekly body weight was recorded for each individual animal. Blood serum was collected for mineral contents. The experiment lasted for eight weeks. The inclusion of saltbush leaves in the diet showed a non-significant effect on the total dry matter intake. There has been a significant increase in the water intake when very high levels of saltbush were included in the ration. Lower levels showed no effect on the water intake. The animals maintained their body weight from week 1 to week 8. No treatment by weeks interactions on the potassium and sodium levels were detected. However higher levels of saltbush increased significantly the potassium and sodium contents in the serum. Calcium contents were significantly(p<0.01) lowered with the inclusion of saltbush leaves in the diet. Whereas Phosphorous contents showed an increasing(p<0.05) trend with the higher levels of saltbush. No clinical or sub-clinical toxicological symptoms were observed in the sheep with the higher mineral contents.
Keywords: Fourwing Saltbush; Intake; Water; Serum Profile

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