SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.50 issue4Predicting the growth and feed intake of Boer goats in a feedlot systemJoint genetic analysis for dairy cattle performance across countries in sub-Saharan Africa author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


South African Journal of Animal Science

On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Print version ISSN 0375-1589


O'NEILL, H.A.; EINKAMERER, O.B.; ELAGO, B.T.  and  GANSWINDT, A.. Concentrations of faecal glucocorticoid metabolites in South African Mutton Merino sheep fed various sources of roughage. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2020, vol.50, n.4, pp.501-506. ISSN 2221-4062.

The objective of this study was to determine whether various sources of roughage in nutritionally balanced feedlot diets would evoke a stress response in sheep. A nutritional stress response test was performed on 20 ewes, randomly divided into four treatment groups with 5 ewes per group. Ewes were kept individually in metabolic crates for thirty days. Rations were balanced nutritionally, and various sources of roughage were included; T1: alfalfa hay, T2: maize stover, T3: soya hulls; and T4: Eragrostis tef. Faeces was removed manually from the caudal rectum of each ewe at 05h00 and 19h00. Samples were frozen at -20°C until analyses. A total of 520 faecal samples were analysed to determine the concentrations of faecal glucocorticoid metabolites (fGCM) by enzyme immunoassay (EIA). These concentrations were expressed as mass/g dry weight (ng/g DW). Baseline values were determined, and those greater than the mean plus 2 standard deviations were removed. Baseline values were compared between the groups with one-way ANOVA analysis. The average concentrations of fGCM were 178.77 ± 21.7 in the morning and 183.2 ± 14.4 in the evening. Sheep fed T4 had significantly higher fGCM concentrations in both morning (302.0 ± 86.1 ng/g DW) and evening (237.0 ± 48.1 ng/g DW) compared with the other treatment groups. Thus, fGCM concentrations in sheep were related to the source of roughage, and Eragrostis tef caused a stress response.

Keywords : animal welfare; cortisol; dietary fibre; selective grazer; stress response.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License