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Nutritional composition of three fodder species browsed by camels (Camelus dromedarius) on arid area of Tunisia

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Abstract

Browsing camels have access to different plant species in relation to the kind of pasture they can reach. A study was conducted in an arid region of Southern Tunisia to determine the dietary preference and forage quality of free ranging camels. Foliage consisting of leaves from Limonium pruinosum, Retama raetam and Stipa tenacissima, was collected during the dry season to evaluate the chemical characteristics and nutritional value of these browse fodder species. The dietary preference was studied using 15 adult camels which were selected from a herd of 50 animals appropriately marked for identification. There was a significant difference in the chemical composition and nutritional value of plant species collected. Based on crude protein (CP) content and nutritional value, the three fodder species browsed can be recommended as good-quality food source for camels under pastoral management.

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Abbreviations

ADF:

Acid detergent fibre

ADL:

Acid detergent lignin

AIA:

Acid insoluble ash

CP:

Crude protein

DM:

Dry matter

EE:

Ether extract

NDF:

Neutral detergent fibre

NFE:

Nitrogen free extract

OM:

Organic matter

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Acknowledgements

The present work was supported by the Italian and Tunisian cooperation funds. Thanks are due to the technicians of departments for their help in laboratory analysis.

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Correspondence to V. Tufarelli.

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Laudadio, V., Dario, M., Hammadi, M. et al. Nutritional composition of three fodder species browsed by camels (Camelus dromedarius) on arid area of Tunisia. Trop Anim Health Prod 41, 1219–1224 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-008-9303-6

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Keywords

  • Camelus dromedarius
  • Forage characteristics
  • Dietary behaviour
  • Tunisia