Department of Animal Production Rajasthan College of Agriculture
Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
An experiment was conducted using 3 dromedary camels (498-531 kg b.wt) aged 8-10 years in latin square design to evaluate the effect of feeding different proportions of roughages on nutrient utilisation, physiological responses and draught performance under sustained working. Animals were fed total mix ration (TMR) containing roughages and concentrate mixture in the ratio of 70:30. In roughages, soybean straw (Glycine max L.) and gram straw (Cicer arietinum L.) were mixed in one of the three ratios 75:25, 50:50 and 25:75 which were designated as T1, T2 and T3, respectively. The DCP and TDN contents were higher in camels fed on total mix ration containing 50:50 proportion of soybean straw (Glycine max L.) and gram straw (Cicer arietinum L.) as compared to other treatment groups. The nutrient intake was higher in T2 while, T1 and T3 were at par with each other. The difference for DDMI and DOMI was also significant between the treatment groups. The CPI, DCPI and TDNI (g/kgW0.75) were significantly higher in T2 whereas, T1 and T3 exhibited non-significance difference. A four wheel cart was used as a loading device for applying load cell between the body of cart and the beam for measuring the draught capacity. There was non-significant difference between the treatments for initial body weight, final body weight, body weight gain, average daily gain and draught (kgf). However, the speed of operation and power (hp) was significantly higher in T2 as compared to T1 and T3. The results may conclude that feeding of 50:50 proportions of soybean and gram straw in TMR has positive effect on nutrient utilisation and draught performance in dromedary camels without any detrimental effect on physiological responses under sustained working.
Key words: Camels, draught, feeding, nutrient utilisation, physiological responses, TMR