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FEED INTAKE, WEIGHT GAIN AND HAEMATOLOGY IN NILI-RAVI BUFFALO HEIFERS FED ON MOTT GRASS AND BERSEEM FODDER SUBSTITUTED WITH SALTBUSH (ATRIPLEX AMNICOLA)

J. A. BHATTI, M. YOUNAS1, M. ABDULLAH, M. E. BABAR AND H. NAWAZ1

University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Lahore; 1Faculty of Animal Husbandry, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan

Abstract

    A feeding management experiment was conducted to determine the effect of Mott grass and berseem fodder substituted with saltbush on the performance of Nili-Ravi buffalo heifers. Fifteen buffalo heifers of 8 months age and 120 kg average initial body weight were divided into five equal groups and fed on T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5 having Mott (Pennisetum purpurium), Berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum), Mott+Saltbush, Berseem+Saltbush and Mott+Berseem+Saltbush, respectively. The experiment was completed in five phases of five weeks each. Higher (P<0.05) mean DM contents were observed in saltbush substituted diets (T3, T4 and T5) than T2 and T1. Crude protein (CP) contents were higher (P<0.01) in Berseem+Saltbush and berseem alone. Ash contents were significantly (P<0.01) higher in saltbush containing diets as compared to Mott and Berseem alone. Mean daily DMI was higher (P<0.01) on T2, followed by T4, T1, T5 and T3. Daily water intake was significantly higher (P<0.01) in heifers on saltbush substituted diets. Highest daily weight gain was observed on Berseem alone and on saltbush combination diets but differences were non-significant (P>0.05). RBCs count was higher (P<0.05) on T1 and T3, and lowest on T4 (berseem+saltbush). WBCs count (P<0.05) were 9.19 ± 0.75, 9.63 ± 0.75, 9.34 ± 0.75, 8.85 ± 0.75 and 8.96 ± 0.75 × 103μl-1 on T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5, respectively. Haemoglobin contents were higher (P<0.01) in heifers on saltbush containing diets and Berseem alone. PCV was significant (P<0.01) between treatments and higher on saltbush substituted diets. Buffalo heifers performed better on berseem and saltbush diets. It is concluded that saltbush can be incorporated in the conventional diets of Nili-Ravi buffalo heifers up to 50% as an alternate forage source when conventional fodders are short and their nutrient contents are low during severe winter and summer seasons. 

Key words: Atriplex amnicola, buffalo heifers, weight gain, DMI.

 
   

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



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