Feeding of halophyte plants to the fattening lambs and their effects on performance, ‎digestibility, blood parameters and carcass characteristics

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Former Ph.D. Student , Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Animal Science and Food Technology, ‎Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Mollasani, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Animal Science and Food Technology, Agricultural Sciences and Natural ‎Resources University of Khuzestan, Mollasani, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Animal Science and Food Technology, Agricultural Sciences and ‎Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Mollasani, Ahvaz, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Animal Science Research Institute of Iran,‎‏ ‏Karaj, Iran


This study was conducted to investigate the effects of Halocnemum strobilaceum and Suaeda aegyptiaca halophytes plants feeding on performance, feed digestibility, blood parameters and carcass characteristics of lambs fed by high-concentrate diets. Thirty six Arabian male lambs with an average age of 4.5±0.2 month and 25.3±1.13 kg live weight were fed by experimental diets for 80 days. The experimental diets included 1- Control, 2- 15% Suaeda, 3- 15% Halocnemum, and 4- 30% mixture of Suaeda and Halocnemum. Treatments had no significant effects on daily weight gain, feed conversion ratio and final body weight. Water intake increased by consumption of halophytes (p < 0.001) compared to the control group. Crude fat and ADF digestibility were higher in control and 15% Suaeda treatments compared to other treatments (P=0.003). Organic matter digestibility was higher in 15% Suaeda and 15% Halocnemum treatments compared to other treatments. Blood urea nitrogen of lambs fed by 30% mixture of Suaeda and Halocnemum was lower than other treatments (P=0.0001). Lambs fed 30% saline plants had less total deposit carcass fat (P=0.024) and more meat content (P=0.006). Muscle yellowness increased in lambs fed halophytes compared to the control treatment (p < 0.001). The results of this study showed that replacement of wheat straw and alfalfa hay with Halocnemum and Suaeda, in high concentrate diets could maintain fattening performance and reduce carcass deposition of fat.


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