Determination of the Mineral Levels of Feedstuffs in the Marmara Region and their Relation to Nutritional Disorders in Sheep


Abstract: This study was carried out in the Marmara region, which is known as one of the regions where animal husbandry is most developed in Turkey. The aim of the study was to determine and collect data on the mineral contents of forages and feedstuffs that are harvested and used in animal nutrition in the region. A further aim was to determine the blood mineral levels of sheep in order to gain information on the mineral insufficiency and/or excess mineral levels in sheep, which are fed mainly with these feedstuffs. Fifty-five different locations in 11 provinces within the whole of the Marmara region, where sheep farming is a common practice, were selected for this study. All locations were visited twice during the study, in autumn (November-December) and in spring (May-June), to collect samples in order to determine the effect of seasonal changes on the mineral contents of forages and the blood mineral levels of sheep. In each location, samples from the available forage and blood samples of 5-6 sheep were collected. Forage and the blood samples were analyzed in order to determine the Ca, P, Mg, K, Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn levels. Spectrophotometric analysis and atomic absorption spectrophotometer were used to determine the level of phosphorus and other minerals in forage samples, respectively. Blood samples were analyzed for their Ca, Pi and Mg levels using a colorimetric autoanalyzer and K, Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn levels using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Collected data are shown in the tables in terms of the average of the Marmara region as well as on a province basis for the forage, and on a province basis for the blood samples. Results of this study show that there are variations in the mineral contents of forage amongst the provinces, as well as amongst various locations within the same province. Seasonal changes are also shown to have an effect on mineral contents of forage. Excess or insufficient mineral levels in forage bring about no clinical signs of a disease in sheep of the same particular region. In light of the data collected in this study, it is clear that preventive measures can be taken to avoid some performance losses in sheep in the region.

Keywords: Marmara Region, Forages, Minerals, Sheep, Serum, Nutritional disorders.

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