EFFECT OF ECO-SALINE SYSTEM ON SOME HEMATOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL PARAMETERS IN DAMASCUS GOATS RAISED UNDER SEMI-ARID CONDITIONS
The effect of eco-saline system, composed of saline water and salt-tolerant plants, on hematological and biochemical responses of Damascus goats was investigated from August 2009 to June 2010. Forty eight adult female Damascus goats were equally assigned randomly into four groups. The first group (G1) fed berseem (Trifolium alexandrnum) hay (BH) and drank fresh water (247 ppm total dissolved solids), the second group (G2) fed BH hay and drank saline water (5980 ppm total dissolved solids), the third group (G3) fed salt-tolerant alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and drank fresh water and the fourth group (G4) fed alfalfa and drank saline water. Body weight changes, hematological and biochemical parameters were measured.
Does of G1, G2, G3 and G4 gained 6.64, 8.2, 4.11 and 5.14 kg, respectively during gestation period. Feeding salt-tolerant plants and drinking saline water was negatively affected (P<0.05) hemoglobin (Hb), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) during different stages of pregnancy. However, packed cell volume (PCV %) and erythrocytes cell counts (RBCs) were not affected. Animals on saline water had significantly lower white blood cell counts than goats given fresh water. Values of WBCs increased with advancing pregnancy. Total protein (TP), albumin (A), globulin (G) and albumin/globulin ratio (A/G %) as well as alanine transferase (ALT) concentration of different groups were within the normal ranges reported for goats during different eco-saline systems. However, Aspartate transferase was higher in salt tolerant groups. Except for phosphorus, serum minerals were higher in alfalfa groups. Concentrations of aldosterone of does fed salt-tolerant alfalfa were higher significantly than does fed berseem hay.
It could be concluded that utilization of salt-tolerant plants as animal feeds in salt affected lands could be an appropriate option for alleviating the desertification problems and providing alternative feed resources, particularly in summer and autumn seasons when the other conventional forage resources are in short supply. Also, these results suggest that saline water can be used as a source of drinking water without any adverse effects on hematological and performance of Damascus goats.
Keywords: Salt-Tolerant Plants, Saline water, Damascus goats