R. Bras. Zootec.. 01/Nov/2016;45(11):704-8.
Effect of halophyte Salicornia bigelovii Torr and graded levels of dietary crude protein on feed performance and carcass traits of camels
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of source of roughage and crude protein level on feeding performance and carcass traits of Majaheem camels (Camelus dromedarius). Forty-eight male calf-camels weighing 203.3±5.1 kg were equally assigned to a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of two sources of roughage (Rhodes grass hay and dry salicornia biomass) and three dietary crude protein levels (12, 14.5, and 17%); the feeding trial lasted for 18 weeks. The results showed that slaughter and hot carcass weights, average daily gain, dry matter intake, feed efficiency, and separable fat from 9th-11th rib joint increased as the crude protein in the diets increased from 12 to 14.5%, whereas increasing crude protein to 17% resulted in no further changes. Slaughter weight, average daily gain, hot carcass weight, rib eye area, and separable lean did not differ between Rhodes grass and salicornia diets, but salicornia-fed camels had higher dry matter intake and produced heavier kidney fat and separable fat weights than camels fed Rhodes grass diets. It is suggested that the inclusion of salicornia biomass as a roughage ingredient up to 25% in the diet containing not greater than 14.5% crude protein can be utilized without adverse effect on feeding performance of calf-camels.