Effect of concentrate supplementation on nutrient intake, utilization and performance of pregnant sheep maintained on community grazing land of semiarid Rajasthan



A study was conducted to compare the nutrition and performance of sheep maintained on grazing alone and grazing plus concentrate-supplemented system during advance stage of pregnancy. Average dry matter yield of community grazing land was recorded as 10.23 qDM/ha. Indigofera cardifolia (27.84%», Erichloa polystachya (34.22%), Dactyloctenium aegypticum (26.31 %), Commenlina bengalensis (1.88%) and Eleusine indica (9.59) were found as dominant vegetation in the grazing land. The diet ofpregnant ewes consisted ofIndigofera cardifolia (11.99% ), Tephrosia heminatonia (26.57%), Crotolaria burhia (2.84%), Commentina bengalensis (10.45%), Eriochloa polystachya (21.41 %), Dactyloctenium aegyticum (6.55%), Melilotus indica (7.16%) and other native grasses. DM, CP, NDF, ADF, cellulose and lignin, total ash, soluble and insoluble ash contents of community grazing land during monsoon season were 85.23, 5.57,63.46,44.31, 19.01,7.57,28.5, 11.54 and 17.05% respectively. Diet of pregnant ewes contained OM 15.30, CP 9.69, NDF 54.74, ADF 36.23, cellulose 18.59, lignin 5.33 and total ash 18.32%. Average dry matter intake of sheep in supplemented and non-supplemented groups was 1164 and 1152 g dayl or 3.39 and 3.40% ofbody weight respectively. Average digestible crude protein (DCP) intake was 74.09 and 69.34 g day! or 2.19 and 2.02 g kg- t day·l in supplemented and non-supplemented groups. Metabolizable energy intake was 14.67MJ dayl or O.43MJkg-' day-I in supplemented group and 14.82 MJ dayl or 0.43 MJkg-t dayl in non-supplemented group. Birth weight of lambs born from sheep supplemented sheep were 3.35 kg in males and 3.20 kg in females. The weights of sheep were higher during pregnancy and loss in weights after lambing was minimum in supplemented than non-supplemented group. It was concluded from the study that daily supplementation ofconcentrate mixture @350 g during last 45 days ofadvance pregnancy improved the weights of sheep at lambing and birth weights of lambs.



Community grazing land; Concentrate supplementation; Nutrient intake; Pregnancy; Sheep

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