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Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances

Year: 2003  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 8  |  Page No.: 478 - 495

Mineral status of Livestock (goats and sheep) Based on Soil, Dietary Components and Animal Tissue Fluids in Relation to Seasonal Changes and Sampling Periods in Specific Region of Pakistan

Zafar Iqbal Khan, Muhammad Ashraf, Muhammad Yasin Ashraf, Zia-ur-Rahman and Altaf Hussain


The study was conducted at the Livestock Experimental Station Rakh Khairewala, District Layyah, southern Punjab, Pakistan, to determine the translocation of mineral nutrients from soil to plants and from plants to goats and sheep. Soil and forage samples were collected fortnightly from two sites of the same farm, during winter and summer of 2001. Feed and water samples were also collected along with soil and forage to study the effect of mineral supplement contained in feed. Samples of blood, milk, urine and faeces were obtained from 60 animals consisting of 30 sheep and 30 goats during the two seasons of the year, grouped into 3 classes with 20 animals per class of each animal type as follows: Class 1 contained 10 lactating sheep or goats, class 2 comprised of 10 non-lactating sheep or goats and, class 3 consisted of 10 male sheep or goats. All the soil, forage, feed, water and animal samples were analysed for 10 minerals like Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+, Fe2+, Cu2+, Zn2+, Mn2+, Co2+ and Se2+. In the site having sheep population all the soil minerals except Co2+ and Se2+ were found to be above the critical levels and considered adequate for normal plant growth during both seasons, while Co2+ and Se2+ in the soil were deficient during both seasons. Forage Na+ and Zn2+ in summer were at marginal deficient levels and in winter only Na was slightly deficient. Feed Ca2+ levels were marginally deficient during both seasons for normal requirements of sheep. Soil samples taken from the pasture grazed by goats had marginal deficient levels of soil K+ in the summer season, moderate soil Na+ during winter and marginal deficient during summer and sever deficient levels of Co2+ and Se2+ during both seasons of the year. While forage contained severe deficient level of K+, moderate deficient level of Na+ and marginal deficient level of Co2+ during winter and marginal deficient Ca2+, Mg2+, Cu2+ and Se2+, moderate deficient level of Fe2+ and severe deficient levels of K+, Na+, Zn2+, Mn2+ and Co2+ during summer season. Feed Ca2+ concentrations were moderately deficient during both seasons. The effects of feed supplement at both ranches in raising the plasma mineral level was different in different groups of animals in different seasons. The moderate deficient level of plasma minerals like Ca2+ and Na+, marginal deficient levels of K+ and Mg2+ during winter and summer and to that of Cu2+ during summer in lactating goats, while in non-lactating goats in plasma, moderate levels of Ca2+ and Na+ and marginal deficient levels of plasma K+ and Mg during both seasons were found. Plasma of male goats contained marginal deficient levels of Ca2+ during winter, K+ during both seasons and Mg2+ during summer, while moderate deficient levels of Ca2+ were found in summer and Na+ during both seasons of the year. In lactating sheep plasma had marginal deficient levels of Ca2+ in summer K+ and Na+ in winter, Mg2+ in both seasons and moderate deficient levels of Ca2+ in winter and K+ and Na+ in summer season, while in non-lactating sheep plasma Ca2+ was in moderate deficient level in winter and Na+ in summer. In addition, marginal levels of Ca2+ during summer and those of Na+ during winter and of K+ and Mg2+ during both seasons were observed. In male sheep plasma K+ and Mg2+ in both seasons. Ca2+ in summer and Na+ in winter were marginal deficient minerals while Ca2+ in winter and Na+ in summer were in moderate deficient levels. However, the supplementation of feed containing minerals seemed to be contributed much to the well being of the animals particularly with no micro mineral in plasma overwhelmingly deficient. No toxic accumulation of any mineral was found in forage or feed during this study. Based on mineral status of the animals, Ca2+, K+, Na+, Mg2+ and Cu2+ were deficient in plasma which may be a factor for limiting livestock production in this specified region of Pakistan. Supplementation with fortified mixtures containing these elements in appropriate proportion with high bioavailability would seem adequate in these regions during both seasons of the year to increase the productivity of goats and sheep at that farm. Studies should be carried out to determine the need and economic benefits of mineral supplementation.