Ninety ram lambs of three Iranian fat-tailed sheep breeds including the Shal breed (age: 4-6 months) in one experiment and the Sanjabi and Bakhtiari breeds (6-9 months) in another experiment were assigned to five groups of 5-7 lambs each to receive a basal diet plus different levels of vitamins A and E supplementation. The groups received 0, 50 or 100 IU vitamin A/kg body mass (b.m.) and 0, 15 or 30 IU vitamin E/kg of diet. In the vitamin A groups a constant level of 15 IU vitamin E and in the vitamin E groups a constant level of 50 IU vitamin A supplementation was provided. Blood plasma samples were taken at the beginning and at the end of the experiments and the concentrations of vitamins A and E were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Vitamin A supplementation of the highest level (100 IU/kg b.m.) significantly increased the retinol content of the blood plasma in the Shal (P < 0.01) and Bakhtiari (P < 0.05) breeds. The mild increase of retinol concentration in the Sanjabi breed was not significant (P > 0.05). Vitamin A supplementation greatly decreased the α-tocopherol content of the blood plasma in all three breeds (P < 0.01). It increased the average daily body mass gain of lambs of the Shal breed (P < 0.01) but decreased that of Bakhtiari lambs (P < 0.05). Supplementation of vitamin E mildly decreased the retinol content of the blood plasma in all the breeds and the decrease was statistically significant (P < 0.05) for the Shal breed at the highest dose level. Vitamin E supplementation greatly increased the α-tocopherol concentration of the blood plasma in all the breeds (P < 0.01-0.001). It decreased the average daily body mass gain of the Shal breed (P < 0.001) but improved it in the two other breeds. That increase was statistically significant (P < 0.05) in the Bakhtiari breed. It was concluded that the Shal breed gave a better response to vitamin A supplementation while the Sanjabi and Bakhtiari breeds to vitamin E. This indicates that fat-tailed breeds have dissimilar requirements for vitamins A and E supplementation. A higher level of vitamin E intake is required for raising the α-tocopherol content of the blood plasma above the level critical for sheep (0.8 μg/ml).
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Acta veterinaria Hungarica|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 1996|
- Body mass gain
- Fat-tailed sheep
ASJC Scopus subject areas