Nutritional status of cattle in Ethiopia: the search for easy-to-establish indicators.
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4 conclusions

Nutritional status of cattle in Ethiopia: the search for easy-to-establish indicators.V. Dermauw1, D. Belay2, K. Yisehak2, D. Solomon2, G. P. J. Janssens11Ghent University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Merelbeke, Belgium2JimmaUniversity College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Jimma, EthiopiaEmail:

  • This is PhD work done in the context of the IUC-JU project

Introduction & objectivesIndicators of nutritional status of cattle as mentioned in literature *:

body condition score (BCS), faecalnitrogen, faecalnitrogenfractions, mineral status

Objectives of thisstudy:1) investigatestrength “old” and “new” candidate indicators (BCS and faecal/plasma samples) in model 2) evaluatenutritional status of cattlearound the Gilgel Gibe dam

2. Materials and methods3 regions (at low, intermediate and high altitude) around the dam: 6 herds/region, 5 animals/herd:

-BCS-faeces: nitrogen and fractions (seefigure 1): vegetal, animal and bacterial, minerals: such as Cu, Fe, Zn, …

-plasma: minerals

Statistics: varianceanalysisbetweenthreeregionsfollowedbypartialcorrelationanalysis (controllingforregion and herd)

Figure 1. Faecal nitrogen fractions and origin

undigested dietary material

undigested material originated of sloughing of intestinal wall cells and endogenous secretion in the gut

3. Results

Selectedresults are presented in table 1.-Faecal N (%OM) and the % forage and metabolic N weresignificantly different betweenregions. -BCS didnotdifferbetweenregions, nor did the otherfaecal parameters-Cu levels in plasma differedbetweenregions, a Cu deficiency was clear in all regions-Fe & Zn levelsdidn’tdiffer and were high to very high-significant herdeffectsfor BCS, Cu, Zn, Fe and Zn -BCS was positivelycorrelatedwith Cu status in blood and negativelywith Fe status

undigestibleruminal bacterial walls and cells from fermentation in the lower tract

Table 1. Comparison of faecal and plasma parameters in cattle and body condition scores of these animals between different regions around the Gilgel Gibe dam in Ethiopia, combined on herd level

4. Conclusions

-BCS was notuseful in this type of study to detectdifferencesbetweenregions-Faecal N and forage/metabolicfractionscanbeused in the futureforevaluation of nutritional status

-The apparent Cu deficiency in the regionshould

betreated and closelymonitored,

antagonisms of Fe and Zn are aggravating the situation-Herdeffectsseemvery important and indicatedifferences in management betweenherds, the nutritional status of animalsvarieswidely in the sameregion as a consequence

References:* Availableuponrequest.

a,b: letters indicate a significant difference (P <0.05) with Tukey post hoc test, L= low, I= intermediate, H= high region, AIA= acid insoluble, ASA= acid soluble ash, forage N= NDF+SDSN, metabolic N= N-NDF+SDSN, bacterial N= NDF-SDSN-NDF+SDSN, animal N= Metabolic N-Bacterial N