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G. Habib, G. Jabbar1, M. M. Siddiqui and Z. Shah2

Animal Nutrition Department, NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar,
1Livestock and Dairy Development Department, Buner
2Department of Soil Science,
NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar


    An investigation was carried out during the month of May to August 2001 to diagnose hind limbs paralysis in buffaloes of Buner area of NWFP. Serum concentrations of calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) in 40 buffaloes (29 affected and 11 normal) from six different villages were measured together with feed and soil samples analysed for different macro and micro minerals. Serum P level was lower (P<0.001) in affected buffaloes and averaged 3.05 mg/100 ml of serum against 6.73 mg/100 ml found in the normal buffaloes. Serum Ca level was in normal range and did not differ between affected and normal buffaloes (12.16 and 12.93 mg/100 ml, respectively). Range grass hay, the main feed offered to the animals during dry season of high disease incidence, was extremely low in P (0.10mg/100g) and sodium (0.03g/100g), with adequate level of Ca (0.41 g/100 g). Concentrations of potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg) in range grass hay were very high and averaged 5.0 and 0.34g/100 g, respectively. Copper (Cu), manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe) contents in the hay were 28.50, 113.0 and 242.0 mg/g, respectively and were in excess of the recommended dietary requirements for cattle. However, zinc (Zn) concentration (42.33 mg/g) in the hay was marginally adequate to meet the dietary requirement of dairy cattle. The mineral profile of hay was in close agreement with that of soil in the area. The results concluded that deficiency of P in hay, which might have resulted due to low P in soil, described low serum P in buffaloes and might be the major cause of the disease. The imbalance of other minerals in hay and soil might have also reduced the bioavailability of P to plants and animals. In vitro matter digestibility (38.1%), crude protein (5.63% in DM), and metabolizable energy (1.32 Mcal/kg DM) values of the hay offered to animals were below the standard requirements and caused general emaciation of the buffaloes during dry seasons. Correction of the hind limbs paralysis in buffaloes would require both P supplementation and improvement in nutritive value of range grass hay. Feeding of molasses-urea blocks fortified with deficient minerals is suggested as appropriate strategic supplement for correcting the health disorder in buffaloes of the Buner area.

Key words: Phosphorus-deficiency, minerals, buffaloes, paralytic disorder

ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)