Effects of the Stage of Maturity of Merremia emarginata on Initiating Formation of Phytobezoars in Sheep in North Kordofan, Sudan
Keywords:rangelands, harmful plants, phytobezoars, sheep nutrition
AbstractThirty castrated rams of Sudanese Desert sheep breed, Hammari ecotype at 1.5-2 years were divided into five groups each with six animals. The animals were weighed prior commencement of the trial (30+ 0.500 kg) and once every week for ninety days. They were vaccinated against diseases endemic to the study area, drenched with a broad spectrum anthelementic and ear-tagged to facilitate identification during treatments. The rams were individually penned provided with drinking and feeding troughs. Rumen liquor was taken for in vitro dry matter and organic matter digestibility. During the trial period, animals were diagnosed by palpation for phytobezoars. At the end of the experiment rams were slaughtered, the site of formation of ball-shaped bodies determined, size and weight were also determined. Data was analyzed via analysis of variance. The results indicated increased feed intake for the group that was on a ration free of Merremia emarginata and those consumed rations with the plant biomass at vegetative growth and at flowering stages. At early and late maturity stages, feed intake decreased and phytobezoars were formed. The bezoars differed in weight and size, where larger and heavier ones were retained from the rumen, medium irregular ones from omasum and small bezoars from the reticulum. It was concluded that M emarginata biomass could initiate phytobezoars' formation at seed formation stage or when it reached late maturity stage. Palpation showed presence of bezoars after continuous ingestion of feed containing the plant biomass. It was recommended that more studies be conducted to determine the minimal amount of the biomass under study to initiate phytobezoars' formation.
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