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Effect of Natural Zeolite as a Rumen Buffer on Growth Performance and Nitrogen Utilization of Barki Lambs

Effect of Natural Zeolite as a Rumen Buffer on Growth Performance and Nitrogen Utilization of Barki Lambs

Wafaa M.A. Ghoneem, Reham R. El-Tanany and Adel E.M. Mahmoud*

Animal Production Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, 12613, Giza, Egypt

* Corresponding author:


This study aimed to determine the effect of zeolite addition in comparison to sodium bicarbonate as a rumen buffer on the growth performance of lambs and nitrogen utilization. Thirty growing Barki lambs (live body weight 34±0.1kg, age: 6 months); divided into three groups (10 in each). Animal groups were randomly divided as follows: G1 (control group): lambs fed clover hay, concentrate feed mixture (CFM) plus sodium bicarbonate (1% of dry matter (DM)), while lambs in G2 and G3 groups fed clover hay, CFM plus natural zeolite (clinoptilolite) at the level of 1 and 2% of DM, respectively. Results showed that there were insignificant (P<0.05) differences among groups in the digestion coefficients (%) of dry matter, crude fiber, ether extract, nitrogen-free extract, and feeding value expressed as digestible crude protein. And there were insignificant (P<0.05) differences between G1 and G2 in the digestibility (%) of OM, CP, ADF, and TDN values. While the highest nutrients digestibility and nutritive value were recorded in G3 (2% zeolite addition) Rumen parameters were in the normal range and with insignificant (P<0.05) differences among groups. The pH values tended to increase but concentrations of ruminal NH3-N and TVFA tended to decrease as the level of zeolite increased. Concentrations of plasma urea were significantly (P<0.05) decreased with lambs fed zeolite rations. Results indicated that zeolite addition had no adverse impact on lambs’ health which all blood parameters were within the normal range. Lambs fed 2% zeolite ration had the highest ADG and the best feed conversion and energy utilization efficiency with no significant difference among the different groups. Also, the addition of 2% zeolite decreased nitrogen loss in feces. It could be concluded that zeolite addition especially at level 2% of DM in Barki lamb rations improved productive performance and economic efficiency.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology


Vol. 55, Iss. 2, Pages 501-1002


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