I. BEN SALEM1
A. BEN YOUNES4
1 Département des Productions Animales, Service de Zootechnie et Economie Agricole, Ecole Nationale de MédecineVétérinaire, 2020 Sidi Thabet, Tunisie
2 Laboratoire des Productions Animales et Fourragères, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique de Tunis, 2049 Ariana, Tunisie.
3 Centre International des RecherchesAgricolesdans les Zones Arides (ICARDA), Amman 11195, Jordanie.
4 FondationNationale de l’Amélioration de la Race Chevaline, 2020, Sidi Thabet, Tunisie
Abstract – The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of barley substitution by cactus during pre-mating phase on some reproductive parameters and blood metabolites of goats. Forty adult goats of local breed were allocated to two groups based on live their weight. Each goat of both groups received 0.9 kg of barley straw. Goats on concentrate group (CC) received in addition 425g/goats/day of a concentrate (mixture of 80% barley and 20% soybean). Goats in the cactus group (CAC) received 256g of a concentrate (mixture of 68% barley and 32% soybean) and 2600g of cactus pads. Feeding regimes were applied on the average for one sexual cycle before mating and continued until 5 weeks after. Cactus incorporation had no effects on live weight and blood metabolite levels (glucose and total proteins) of the two groups. But goats receiving barley had a higher (p<0.05) plasma concentrations of urea than those receiving cactus pads. Reproductive parameters as estrus distribution, ovulation rate at first estrus (1.26±0.11 vs1.37±0.11 respectively for goats in CC and CAC groups) conception rate at all estrus (75% vs 90% respectively for goats in CC and CAC groups)and litter size for all estrus(1.46±0.13 vs1.27±0.11 respectively for goats in CC and CAC groups) were not significantly affected by the regimes.It is concluded that during autumn, the sexual season, cactus can replace barley on the diet of goats during 8 weeks around the breeding without any negative effects on live weight, metabolites and reproduction outcome.