Nutritive Value of Zandi Sheep Diets (Halophyte Plants) Grazing in Abbasabad Desert Rangelands of Qom

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Abstract

Desert and marginal lands of playas which are covered with halophyte shrubs, play a great role in supply of forage for livestock as winter rangelands. In this research, plant samples were collected from four palatable halophyte species for Zandi sheep of Qom desert rangelands including Seidlitzia rosmarinus، Halocnemum strobilaceum، Alhagi camelorum and Tamarix passerinoides in two phenological stages (vegetative growth and seed ripening). The plant samples were dried and analyzed by AOAC methods for qualitative indices such as: crude protein (CP %), acid detergent fiber (ADF %), dry matter digestibility (DMD %) and metabolizable energy (ME). The results showed significant differences (p<0.01) between different species and phenological stages. Halocnemum strobilaceum had the highest CP% in vegetative stage while Tamarix sp. had the lowest one in seed ripening stage. The highest and the lowest DMD% and ME (mj) were related to Seidlitzia sp. and Tamarix sp., respectively. Also, according to Duncan’s test, interaction effects of plant species and growth stages were significant by quality indices (p<0.01). In most of species, the amount of CP% decreased with progressing phenological stages while ADF%, increased. Meanwhile, autumn and winter in the first type (Ha.st- Se.ro) and late winter and spring in the second type (Al.ca- Se.ro), were determined as the most suitable period for animal grazing.

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