Physiological response of crossbred sheep under nutritional scarcity
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Nutritional scarcity during summer and winter is a major constraint for sheep rearing in the semi-arid tropical region. In this region, a new crossbred sheep has been developed by the crossing of a native sheep breed Malpura with a breed of hot-humid coastal region breed Garole. A study was conducted for 9 weeks to assess the physiological response of crossbred (Garole x Malpura x Malpura, GMM) rams under nutritional scarcity in the semi-arid tropical region. Eighteen adult crossbred rams were randomly allocated into three groups of six animals each. The groups are G1 (control, ad libitum feeding), G2 (20% less than ad libitum feeding), and G3 (30% less than ad libitum feeding). The animals were stall-fed with a diet consisting of 70% roughage (Cenchrus ciliaris hay) and 30% concentrate feed. Body weight gain, average daily gain, and feed intake were significantly (P < 0.05) lower in G2 and G3 as compared to G1 rams. Water intake was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in G2 and G3. Physiological responses, blood biochemical and endocrine profile did not differ between the groups. The results indicate that the crossbred rams evolved through the crossing of the hot semi-arid tropical region breed with hot humid coastal region breed are able to maintain their body homeostasis despite nutritional scarcity although their body weight decreased.
KeywordsAdaptability Blood biochemical Endocrine Ram Semi-arid
The authors are highly thankful to the Director of the Institute for providing the research facilities and to Indu Shekhawat, Saumya Bahadur, Anoop Kumar Singh, and Kamal Kumar for their technical help during the experiment. The authors acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Randhir Singh Bhatt, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CSWRI, Avikanagar, for his contribution in feed formulation and estimation of basal diet composition.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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