Seasonal changes in chemical composition of adult blesbok (Damaliscus dorcas phillips/) males from the Van Riebeeck nature reserve
Whole body analyses were carried out on mature blesbok males over the four seasons of the year. A clear seasonal pattern emerged in that the mass of the digesta. as a percentage of the body mass. showed a maximum of 19.8 %during the winter with a decline to 11.74 % during autumn. The same tendency occurred in respect of the dry material of the digesta as a percentage of body mass. This can probably –be attributed to seasonal changes in the digestibility of the grazing. The most important seasonal changes in the empty body composition were associated with changes in the ether extract fraction which increased from 2.09 %during spring to 7.80 %during autumn. Considered on a fat free basis no seasonal changes in empty body composition were observed and the mean values for moisture. protein and ash fractions was 71,46; 23.15 and 5.3 % respectively. For the fat free dry matter no seasonal changes were recorded and its composition averaged 81,11 % for the protein and 18.88 %for the ash values.