Acta Vet. Brno 2006, 75: 227-234

Effects of Agricultural Byproducts in Ration on Productive and Reproductive Performance of Saidi Rams

G. A. Megahed1, A.-H. M. Etman2

1Dept. of Theriogenology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Assiut University, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
2Dept. of Animal Production (Nutrition), Faculty of Agriculture, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt

Received October 23, 2003
Accepted November 10, 2005

The influence of selected agricultural byproducts supplementation to feed rations on the ram's body gain, reproductive performance, and subsequent fertility were investigated. Forty Saidi rams were divided into 4 groups (n = 10). Group 1 (control) was fed 500 g/head/day concentrate feed mixtures (CFM) plus wheat straw ad libitum. Groups 2, 3 and 4 were fed 500 g/head/day CFM plus corn cobs or sugar cane tops or sugar cane bagasse (these roughages were treated with 1% urea), respectively. Serum testosterone, glucose and total cholesterol levels were determined and semen evaluations were carried out every 15 days. Testicular size, scrotal circumference and body weight were recorded each month. At the end of the experiment, 12 rams were allowed to mount 114 healthy ewes to evaluate the pregnancy rate for each group. The results have shown that the body weight, daily body gain, testicular size and scrotal circumference increased (p < 0.01) in the treated groups as compared to controls with advancing age. At the end of the experiment (90 days), testicular size and scrotal circumference increased (p < 0.01) in the treated groups as compared with the control. The testosterone level (ng/ml) in treated groups increased (2.18 ± 0.31 ng/ml in group 2; 2.35 ± 0.24 ng/ml in group 3, and 1.97 ± 0.16 ng/ml in group 4) significantly (p < 0.01) as compared with group 1 (1.76 ± 0.09 ng/ml). Moreover, supplementation of treated agricultural byproducts had a significant improving effects on the semen quality. The semen volume increased, along with individual motility and live sperm percentages. Pregnancy rate in this study indicated that rams of groups 2, 3 and 4 yielded a higher pregnancy rate (83.33%, 86.67% and 81.48%, respectively) than group 1 (74.07%). Agricultural byproducts such as corn cobs, sugar cane tops and sugar cane bagasse treated with 1% urea had a beneficial effect on the daily body gain and improved the reproductive performance and subsequent fertility of Saidi rams, compared to wheat straw.