EFFECT OF RESTRICTED FEEDING ON BODY WEIGHT, SOME HEMATOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL PARAMETERS IN SHEEP AND GOATS RAISED UNDER SEMI-ARID CONDITIONS
A total of 10 Barki sheep and 10 Baladi goats were used in 4-month experiment to investigate to what degree local sheep and goats can tolerate feed shortage under semi-arid conditions and to compare sheep and goats for their ability to withstand these harsh conditions. Animals were divided into two groups according to feeding level (50 and 100% of maintenance energy requirements). Changes in live body weight and some biweekly hematological and blood biochemical parameters were examined.
Restricted feeding level did not affect (P>0.05) live body weight. In both sheep and goats, restricted diets showed a significant (P<0.05) decrease in hemoglobin (Hb) and packed cell volume (PCV %). Reduction was shown in erythrocytes cell counts (RBCs) especially in goats (P<0.05). Restricted feeding showed a significant decrease in white blood cells (WBCs) in both species, but the reduction was much greater in goats than in sheep (17.15 and 7.75%).
Animals fed restricted diets show a significant decrease (P<0.05) in total protein, globulin, and triglyceride, and a non-significant increase in albumin, albumin/ globulin ratio, and total lipids in both species. While glucose and cholesterol increased in sheep, both parameters decreased in goats. Alanine transferase (ALT), aspartate transferase (AST), and gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) were increased in both species that received restricted diet. The increase in the three enzymes was significant only in sheep, and the GGT was only significant in goats. While alkaline phosphatase was significantly decreased in sheep, it was significantly increased in goats. Restricted feeding resulted in a significant increase in blood urea and a significant decrease in creatinine concentration in both species.
In conclusion, results revealed that both sheep and goats are adapted to feed shortage with higher tolerance in sheep than in goats under semi-arid conditions.
Keywords: Sheep, Goats, Restricted feeding