K Abdoun1, A Alameen2, W Elmagbol2, T Makkawi2 and A Al-Haidary1
1Department of Animal Production, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University,
PO Box 2460; Riyadh 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Khartoum, 13314 Shambat, Sudan
Camels are known to survive and reproduce in arid and semiarid areas despite the scarcity of feed and water. It was the intention of this study to assess energy and nitrogen balances of feed deprived dromedary camels using specific blood metabolites concentrations as biological markers. In this study 5 camels of different age and sex were totally deprived of feed for 7 days. Feed deprivation caused no change in plasma glucose, and serum triglycerides and β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations, indicating that energy deficit did not occur. The serum albumin concentration remained stable during feed deprivation, while urea concentration increased. This clearly indicates the ability of camels to use efficient recycling of urea to maintain their nitrogen balance. Our results also show that dromedary camels maintained their serum osmolality during feed deprivation. However, packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin concentration (Hb), forestomach liquor Na+ and K+ concentrations and osmolality were slightly reduced.
Key words: Dromedary camel, energy balance, feed deprivation, nitrogen balance