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Effect of mineral mixture and antioxidant supplementation on growth, reproductive performance and adaptive capability of Malpura ewes subjected to heat stress

Sejian, V., Singh, A. K., Sahoo, A., Naqvi, S. M. K.
Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition 2014 v.98 no.1 pp. 72-83
adults, adverse effects, blood glucose, body condition, body weight, cortisol, diet, estradiol, estrus, ewes, feed intake, heat, heat stress, heat treatment, progesterone, reproductive efficiency, reproductive performance, temperature
This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of mineral and antioxidant supplementation on growth, reproductive performance and physiological adaptability of heat-stressed Malpura ewes. The study was conducted for a period of 21 days in 21 adult Malpura ewes. The ewes were randomly divided into three groups with seven animals each viz. GI (control; n = 7), GII (heat stress; n = 7) and GIII (heat stress + mineral and antioxidant supplementation; n = 7). The animals were stall fed ad libitum with the diet consisting of 70% roughage and 30% concentrate. GI ewes were maintained under normal controlled condition in the shed, while GII and GIII ewes were subjected to heat stress by exposing them to 42 °C in the climatic chamber. The parameters studied were feed intake (FI), water intake (WI), body weight, body condition score (BCS), physiological, biochemical and endocrine responses. Heat stress significantly altered FI, water intake, BCS, respiration rate and rectal temperature in the afternoon, oestrus duration, estradiol, progesterone, Hb, PCV, plasma glucose, total protein, cortisol, T3 and T4 levels while mineral and antioxidant supplementation ameliorated this heat stress effect on the parameters studied. Further, the adverse effect of heat stress on the productive and reproductive efficiency of Malpura ewes was reduced considerably by mineral mixture and antioxidant supplementation. This is evident from the non-significant difference in BCS, oestrus duration and plasma estradiol between GI and GIII in this study. Hence, it is very pertinent to conclude from this study that mineral mixture and antioxidant supplementation were able to protect Malpura ewes against heat stress.