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Nutritive value of some herbage for dromedary camels in the central arid zone of Iran


The purpose of this study is to prepare standard tables of the chemical composition of feedstuff and to determine the digestibility and palatability of different plant species in the dromedary camel, this research was conducted considering the consumed herbages by camels in the central arid zone of Iran. The following plant species were included: Alhagi camelorum, Artemisia sieberi, Atriplex lentiformis, Haloxylon persicum, Hammada salicornica, Salsola tomentosa, Salsola rigida, Seidlitzia rosmarinus, Suaeda fruticosa, Tamarix tree, and Tamarix kotschi. Thirty samples of the browsing parts were collected from three sites in the rangelands of Qom and Yazd province. The chemical composition of the samples, including dry matter, crude protein (CP), crude fiber, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), ether extract, total ash, macroelements (Ca, P, Mg, K), microelements, and gross energy were measured. The in vitro digestibility of the plants was measured by camel liquor using the Tilley and Terry method. The palatability of the plants was measured by four mature camels in cafeteria trials. Data were analyzed by general linear model method using the SAS software. The highest CP (17.5%) related to Haloxylon persicum and the lowest NDF (26.2%) and ADF (12.6%) were related to Salsola rigida. The lowest CP (5.5%) and the highest NDF (72.8%) and ADF (59.6%) were related to Artemisia sieberi. The results also indicate that Atriplex lentiformis, Alhagi camelorum, Seidlitzia rosmarinus, Suaeda fruticosa, Haloxylon persicum, Salsola tomentosa, Hammada salicornica, T. kotschi, Salsola rigida, Tamarix tree, and Artemisia seiberi were more pleasurable feeds, respectively. There was no consistent relationship between the palatability of herbages with the percentage of digestible organic matter in the dry matter or chemical composition.

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We are grateful to the Animal Science Research Institute, Karaj for providing necessary research facilities.

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Correspondence to Armin Towhidi.

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Towhidi, A., Saberifar, T. & Dirandeh, E. Nutritive value of some herbage for dromedary camels in the central arid zone of Iran. Trop Anim Health Prod 43, 617–622 (2011).

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  • Chemical composition
  • Digestibility
  • Palatability
  • Herbage
  • Camel