Effects of Zinc and Copper Supplementation to the Ration on Some Blood Metabolites in Merino Lambs


Abstract: In this study, the effects of supplementation of zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) to the ration on some blood metabolites of merino lambs were investigated. For this purpose, 24 male lambs, which were about 3.5 months old and 26 kg in body weight, were used. The animals were equally divided into four groups. Over five months, while one of the groups was fed the control ration, the others were fed rations supplemented with Zn (250mg/kg in DM), Cu (25 mg/kg in DM) and the same amounts of Zn plus Cu ad libitum. Blood samples were taken from the vena jugularis at one month intervals over five months and their plasma levels were obtained. Plasma Zn levels of the lambs fed the ration supplemented with Zn and Zn plus Cu were higher than those of the animals in the other groups. When compared with the control lambs and the ones fed the ration with Zn added, the plasma Cu levels, except during the first month, generally increased in the animals fed the ration with Cu added. It was found that the plasma Cu levels of the animals fed the Zn plus Cu supplemented ration were also higher than those of the lambs fed the Zn supplemented ration in the second and third months. On the other hand, it was determined that the group with Zn added to the ration in the third month had higher plasma total protein levels than the other groups. In addition, when compared to the value of the control group in the fifth month, a similar increase was seen in the plasma albumin level in the group supplemented with Zn in the same month. The determined total cholesterol levels of the lambs fed the diet supplemented with Zn in the second, fourth and fifth months were lower than those of the control animals. Consequently, it was determined that Zn supplementation to the ration caused differences in the plasma total protein, albumin and total cholesterol levels of the lambs. Cu and Zn in combination with Cu supplementation had no significant influence.

Keywords: Zinc, copper, total protein, albumin, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, lamb.

Full Text: PDF