Document Type : Original Article


Animal and Poultry Nutrition Department, Animal and Poultry Production Division, Desert Research Center, Cairo, Egypt.


This experiment was conducted at Ras Sudr Research Station belonging to Desert Research Center to elucidate the effect of feeding salt tolerant plants (Atriplex nummularia, Fodder beet, Pearl millet) silage (STPS) on productive performance ofmale Barki sheep under arid and salinity conditions of Southern Sinai, Egypt. Sixteen male Barki sheep (31.42 ±1.79 kg and 4 months age) were randomly divided into two equal groups (8 each). The first group (control) was fed 40% berseem hay (BH) from total ration and served as control. The second group (STPS) was fed ad liptum salt tolerant plants silage (Atriplex nummularia 50%, Fodder beet 35% and Pearl millet 10%) and the final mixture was sprayed with 5% molasses. All experimental lambs were fed concentrate feed mixture (CFM) as 60% percentage for total rations according to nutrient requirements. Results revealed that wide variations in chemical composition of the experimental roughages. It can be seen that STPS have lower contents of Dry matter (DM), Organic matter (OM), Crude protein (CP), Natural detergent fiber (NDF), Acid detergent fiber (ADF), than BH. However, STPS was higher than BH in ash content. Voluntary feed intake showed not significant differences between the two experimental groups of total and CFM intake. However, STPS group had lower (P< 0.05) roughage intake than control group. Animals fed STPS had higher (P<0.05) crude protein digestibility than the control group. Moreover, there were not significant differences between the two experimental groups of DM, CF, NDF and ADF digestibility. Feeding STPS lowered (P<0.05) free drinking, fecal, urinary and total water execration than control group. Ruminal parameters declared that, there were no significant (P< 0.05) differences in pH values, ammonia nitrogen concentration and total volatile fatty acids concentrations. Commonly, all ruminal parameters in the present study were within normal range of sheep. Blood biochemistry parameters showed significant (P<0.05) increase only for total proteins in control group compared to STPS group. Vastly, all values of blood biochemistry were within the normal ranges. Results of blood picture parameters except for WBC's (significantly decreased for STPS group) were not affected (P< 0.05) by the experimental rations fed to lambs. Weights of fattened lambs are didn’t appear any significant (P<0.05) differences between groups. On the other hand, the cheapest price of roughage for STPS group reflected positively on economical evaluation than that resulted by BH. It could be concluded that feeding salt tolerant plants silage without serious nutritional hazards, would be an avenue to overcome the problem of feedstuff shortage prevailed under arid and salinity conditions of Sinai, Egypt.


Main Subjects