Effect of feeding different levels of forages and concentrate ration on production performance, serum biochemical and hematological profile in Ghaljo sheep (Ovis aries)

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Sajid Khan, Faiza Shahzadi, Shams Ul Hayat, Fahadullah Khan, Azmat Hayat Khan , Muhammad Iqbal Hafiz Abdul Majid, Rahmat Jan Afridi


Adequate provision of nutritious diet can help improve the production performance of sheep. This study aimed to explore optimal production performance in Ghaljo sheep feeding different levels of forages and concentrate ration. Nine healthy sheep were divided into three groups. The control group was fed on an exclusively forage-based diet (wheat straw, sorghum and millet), Concentrate-supplemented diet (C-33) group on 33% concentrate with 67% forages and C-67 group on 67% concentrate with 33% forages. The average weight gain was significantly greater in animals fed on concentrate-supplemented diet (C-33 group: 13.9±1.0 Kg; C-67 group: 13.0±0.9 Kg) than an exclusively forage-based diet (10.1±0.9 Kg, p=0.007). The feed efficiency of animals fed on concentrate-supplemented diet (C-33 group: 7.3±0.4; C-67 group: 7.5±0.1) was superior to an exclusively forage-based diet (8.4±0.2, p=0.003). The total serum protein levels (C-33 group: 7.4±0.3 g/dL; C-67 group: 7.1±0.3 g/dL; Control group: 6.5±0.3 g/dL, P=0.009) were significantly higher with concentrate-supplemented diet. While, serum urea levels were significantly different between all study group (C-67 group: 15.6±1.3 mg/dL; C-33 group:  13.7±0.5 mg/dL; Control group: 12.2±0.4 mg/dL, p=0.007). The highest return on investment (26%) was seen in animals fed on a diet comprising 33% concentrate ration with 67% forages. In conclusion, concentrate-supplemented diet significantly improves weight gain and feed efficiency in sheep. Diet comprising 33% concentrate ration with 67% forages on dry matter basis are recommended for optimal growth and economic returns without adverse effect on animal health.

Keywords: Economics; Feed Efficiency; Pakistan; Production; Sheep; Weight Gain


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