Phosphorus supplementation of Karakul sheep grazing natural pasture

Author: A.S. Faure, G.J. Minnaar & F.J.J. Burger
Year: 1985
Issue: 2
Volume: 15
Page: 33 - 37

The phosphorus (P) status of adult Karakul ewes grazing natural pasture was determined by measuring the P content of blood, saliva, faecal, and bone samples. The ewes were divided into four groups of 20 ewes each, viz. Ewes supplemented with P+ and P- which lambed during May and October. All lambs born were slaughtered. The nutritive value (% CP and DOM) of the natural pasture of P- and P+ groups was similar. The average daily intake of supplement (g/sheep) by the P- and P+ groups was 4,9 ± 2,8 and 5,6 ± 2,8.g (P = 0,01) respectively. The latter figure implied an average daily P intake of 0,5 g. Average saliva P concentration for the P- and P+ groups was 43,7 ± 17,3 and 45,2 ± 19,2 mg/100 ml (P> 0,5) respectively. Blood and faecal P concentrations were variable in contrast to bone P concentration. Average rib-bone P concentration of the two P groups varied between 140 and 157 mg/cm3 fresh bone. Blood, saliva, faecal, and bone concentration did not indicate a negative P status. Furthermore, P supplementation had no effect on reproduction. Phosphate supplementation to Karakul sheep grazing natural pasture in the Gordonia district appears to be unnecessary.



Keywords: Karakul, natural pasture, phosphorus
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