Utilization of blue panic (Panicum antidotale) as an alternative feed resource for feeding Barky sheep in arid regions

Abstract

This study aimed at elucidating effects of replacing sorghum with blue panic (BP) on total dry matter intake (TDMI), average daily gain (ADG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), apparent nutrient digestibility, blood biochemical constituents, rumen fermentation patterns and economic feasibility of Barky male lambs. Fifteen lambs (av. BW, 22.5 ± 1.6 kg) were randomly allotted into 3 treatments (n = 5/group). Control lambs were given a diet of concentrate mixture (CM) plus sorghum (S), BP50% lambs were given a diet of CM plus (S: PB 1:1) and BP100% lambs were given CM plus PB. The experiment lasted for 54 days. At the last week of the experiment, the apparent nutrient digestibility coefficients were determined using lignin contents of feeds and faeces as an internal marker. Blood samples were collected at weeks 3, 5 and 7 to determine serum biochemical parameters. Results showed that TDMI significantly (P < 0.05) influenced by diet, whereas ADG was not affected. Mean FCR values were 5.67, 5.46 and 5.86 for control, BP50% and BP100%, respectively. Neither nutrients digestibility nor ruminal fermentation parameters were affected (P > 0.05) by total replacement of sorghum with BP. Likewise, none of the serum biochemical constituents were different in BP than in control lambs. This study concluded that BP grass would be considered as one of the promising tropical green forages in the arid regions as an alternative feedstuff in case of shortage of green fodders.

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Correspondence to Moustafa M. Zeitoun.

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This study was approved by the ethical guideline committee of the Animal and Fish Production Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Alexandria University, Egypt.

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Sallam, S.M.A., Khalil, M.M.H., Attia, M.F.A. et al. Utilization of blue panic (Panicum antidotale) as an alternative feed resource for feeding Barky sheep in arid regions. Trop Anim Health Prod 51, 2351–2360 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-019-01963-6

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Keywords

  • Blue panic
  • Digestibility
  • Growth performance
  • Blood metabolites