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Impact of Non-Conventional Energy Sources in Ration on Productive and Reproductive Performance of Ewes

The present work aimed to define the influence of the non-conventional energy sources added to the ration on productive and reproductive performance of ewes. The variety of energy sources such as basal conventional energy (BCE) and admixture of unconventional energy (UCE) protected fat (PF) and corn steep liquor (CSL) were investigated. Ten healthy and mature Rahmani ewes were divided into two groups (n=5). Ewes in 1st group fed BCE contained gross energy (GE) at a level of 300.21 cal/100 gm diets as 60% concentrate feed mixture (CFM) + 40% rice straw (RS). While, 2nd group nourished UCE which given ewes GE at a level of 332.46 cal/100 gm diets (55% CFM + 40% RS + 2.5% PF + 2.5% CSL). All ewes were received both BCE and UCE at 21 days pre-mating season and continued until lambing. The changes in body weight, fertility rate and parity pattern of ewes fed BCE and UCE were measured. Progesterone (P4) profile was also determined during gestation and number of fetuses. Blood metabolites were investigated during different stages of gestation. The obtained results showed that ewes given UCE had slight (P>0.05) improvement in body weight but at prepartum they had significantly (P<0.05) higher live body weight compared with ewes received BCE energy. Ewes fed UCE showed improvement prolificacy (100%) and parity patterns as twins rate (40.00%) compared to ewes received BCE that have feeble prolificacy (83.33%) and twins rate (20.00%). Progesterone (P4) in ewes fed UCE had higher (P<0.05) levels than ewes fed BCE during different stages of gestation. Fetus numbers emphasized that the level of P4 in ewes carrying two fetuses increased (P<0.05) compared to ewes carrying just one fetus throughout gestation. The blood metabolites of ewes fed UCE showed higher (P<0.05) levels of total proteins, albumin, globulin, cholesterol, glucose, calcium and phosphorus than ewes fed BCE. However, serum creatinine, triglycerides and urea-N in ewes fed UCE were insignificantly higher than those of BCE ewes. This study concluded that unconventional energy is recommended to be included in farm animal diets at moderate amounts. Maintaining normal range for most commonly used serum biochemical parameters during different reproductive stages should considered in farm management strategy.