Feed consumption, diet digestibility and mineral utilization in captive blackbuck fed different levels of concentrates
A feeding trial was conducted to know the level of concentrates in the diet of Antelope cervicapra at which diet digestibility and mineral utilization were optimum. Fifteen blackbucks (25-33 kg BW) were distributed into three groups of five each.
Fresh oat (Avena sativa) and berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum) fodders were offered ad libitum to all the animals. In addition, animals in groups II and III received concentrate mixture at the rate of 0.5 and 1% of BW, whereas animals in group I received no concentrates. As the level of concentrates increased, consumption of fodder decreased resulting in decreased consumption of neutral detergent fibre (NDFom), acid detergent fibre (ADFom), hemicellulose and cellulose. However, overall total dry matter (DM) and organic matter (OM) intake was not significantly different between the groups. Digestibility of DM, OM and gross energy (GE) increased while that of NDFom and ADFom decreased with increased level of concentrates in the diet. Intake of P, Zn, Cu and Mn increased with increased level of concentrate supplementation; however, consumption of Ca and Fe followed the reverse trend. Absorption of P and Zn increased with increased level of concentrate supplementation. Serum concentration of Zn increased when concentrate was supplemented at the rate of 0.5% BW beyond which there was no further improvement. Increasing the level of concentrates in the diet was resulted in increased serum glucose and cholesterol levels. Forage-only diet was inadequate in supply of energy, P and zinc. Supplementation of concentrates at the rate of 0.5% BW was able to meet the requirement of these nutrients. Supplementation at the rate of 1% BW supplied energy and P in excess of requirement. It was concluded that the feeding of concentrates to the captive blackbuck fed forage-based diets should be restricted to 0.5% of BW.
Title: Feed consumption, diet digestibility and mineral utilization in captive blackbuck (Antelope cervicapra) fed different levels of concentrates.
Authors: Das A, Katole S, Choubey M, Gupta SP, Saini M, Kumar V, Swarup D
Source: J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr, 2011 Nov 17, epub ahead of print