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The soil-plant-animal phenomena: serum mineral status of Fiji fantastic sheep grazing Batiki grass (Ischaemmum aristatum Var. indicum) and Pangola grass (Digitaria decumbens) in Samoa

Aregheore, Martin and Hunter, David and Perera, Hewage G.D. and Mautoatasi, Mose T. (2007) The soil-plant-animal phenomena: serum mineral status of Fiji fantastic sheep grazing Batiki grass (Ischaemmum aristatum Var. indicum) and Pangola grass (Digitaria decumbens) in Samoa. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 6 (3). pp. 349-357. ISSN 1680-5593

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Abstract

A study was carried out during the dry season period to determine the mineral status of soil/forages (batiki and pangola grasses) grazed by the Fiji Fantastic Sheep (FFS) at four government owned livestock farms located at Avele, Togitogiga, Lemafa and Tanumalala within Upolu Island, Samoa. Also blood serum mineral content was examined. Soils and forages were sampled in June and August from the four farms. Among the four farms, soil at Togitogiga was comparatively low in Ca, Mg, K and Zn; while P and K were deficient in the soil at Avele. Ca content in the batiki grass at Avele was 2.7 g kg 1 DM while at Togitogiga and Lemafa it ranged between 1.8-2.1 g kg 1 DM. Ca content in the pangola grass (Tanumalala farm) ranged between 1.7-2.3 g kg 1 DM. Phosphorus (P), Mg, Na and K contents in the forages were 2.1 g kg 1 DM; 2.5 g kg 1 DM, 0.5 g kg 1 DM and 8.5 g kg 1 DM, respectively. Ca;P ratio in the forages was 1:1. Na content in batiki and pangola grasses was below the critical level an indication of deficiency. The content of micro-minerals in the forages was Fe (97.9 mg kg 1 DM), Mn (172.9 mg kg 1 DM); Cu (3.3 mg kg 1 DM) and Zn (36.9 mg kg 1 DM). Micro-minerals were adequate in the forages and above the requirements of an adult sheep. Mean concentration of serum macro-minerals was Ca (25.2 mg 100 mL 1); P (3.2 mg 100 mL 1); Mg (0.9 mg 100 mL 1): Na 51.9 mg 100 mL 1) and K (2.4 mg 100 mL 1), while serum micro minerals were Fe (372.4 mg 100 mL 1); Mn (1.1 mg 100 mL 1); Cu 3.3 mg 100 mL 1 and Zn (7.6 mg 100 mL 1). Except for Ca and Fe, the serum content of other macro and micro minerals were below the ovine reference range. In this report we tested the soil, forage and carried out direct veterinary evidence for deficiency through blood analysis to validate the mineral status of the Fiji. Fantastic sheep grazing batiki and pangola grasses in Samoa and compared the values obtained with appropriate standards of adequacy or safety. In conclusion, it appears that the critical levels proposed for most macro and micro minerals elements are higher than may apply to the FFS grazing low potential grasses in the dry season in Samoa. Supplementation of the sheep with mineral lick block during grazing would alleviate the problems of the deficiencies of some of the macro and micro minerals observed in the forages and in the serum of the sheep.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Agriculture and Food Technology
Depositing User: Ms Mereoni Camailakeba
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2007 12:11
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2012 17:07
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/46
UNSPECIFIED

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