Growth performance of indigenous sheep fed Sporobolus virginicus grass hay grown in saline desert lands and irrigated with high salt content ground water

G. A. Alhadrami, S. A. Al-Shorepy, A. M. Yousef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Twenty-eight indigenous ewe lambs (6 months of age and 14.4 kg body weight (BW)) were used to evaluate the effect of feeding Sporobolus grass hay (SGH) as the only source of forage on growth, and feed and water intakes. The ewe lambs were randomly and equally allocated to two treatment groups (14 lambs/group). The ewe lambs in group 1 (treatment 1) received SGH, while lambs in group 2 (treatment 2) received Rhodes grass hay (RGH) as the only source of forage. Water was available at all times for both treatment groups. Sporobolus grass was irrigated with brackish water of high salt content (20,000 ppm) and grown in saline desert lands (sabkha) in the United Arab Emirates. The average daily dry matter intake was significantly (P<.05) higher for the animals fed SGH than those fed RGH at all stages. Both water intakes per unit body gain and water intake per unit feed intake were significant (P<.05) between the two treatments group at all stages. Average daily gain did not differ significantly (P>.05) between the two groups at all stages. From these data, we conclude that SGH can replace Rhodes hay in sheep diet without significant effect on sheep performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1837-1843
Number of pages7
JournalTropical Animal Health and Production
Volume42
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Growth performance
  • Indigenous sheep
  • Rhodes grass
  • Sporobolus virginicus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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