Trace mineral concentration of forages in connection with sheep dietary requirements

Author: A. Qudoos, U.B. Tahir, S. Ahmad, M. Tariq, M. Imran, R. Nadeem, S. Noreen, N. Luqman, M. Maqbool, I. Jan, Z. Iqbal, M. Raza, M.S. Sajid & H.M. Rizwan
Year: 2023
Issue: 3
Volume: 53
Page: 361 - 368

This paper describes the trace and ultra-trace mineral concentration in different forages utilized by sheep (Kajli and Fat tail) in the rangelands of Chakwal district, Punjab, Pakistan. The concentrations of Se, Mo, Zn, Mn, Cu, and Co were assessed using spectrophotometric methods after the digestion of forage samples. The dominant forage species consumed by sheep were Buxus pappillosa, Prosopis juliflora, Ficus palmata, Acacia modesta, Trichodesma indica, Olea permiginea, Lantana camara, Justicia adhatoda, Morus nigra, and Ipomoea carnea. The overall mean concentration of Co (1.27±0.24 mg/Kg of DM), Zn (35.14±1.28 mg/Kg of DM), and Cu (28.06±1.29 mg/Kg of DM) in forages were higher than the requirements for lactating ewes, while the concentration of Se was within the normal range. Molybdenum (0.030±0.004 mg/Kg of DM) and Mn (29.69±1.61 mg/Kg of DM) concentrations were lower than dietary requirements for sheep. In different administrative divisions (tehsils) like Chakwal, Talagang, Choa Saidan Shah, and Kalar Kahar of Chakwal district, the trace minerals Zn, Mn, and Co, showed non-significant variation, whereas Se, Mo, and Cu showed substantial variation. In conclusion, rangeland forages contained a sufficient concentration of most trace minerals (Co, Cu, Se, Zn) to meet the requirements of grazing sheep in the study district. However, Mn and Mo supplementation seems to be essential to maintain the optimal production capabilities of sheep in this area.

Keywords: dietary requirements, rangeland forages, sheep flocks, trace minerals
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