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Two independent experiments were carried out using Sudanese Desert sheep and goats to investigate water metabolism (total body water, TBW and water turnover, WTO) and internal water compartments using radioactive water (tritium), under natural grazing conditions in a semi-desert area. The second trial was carried out on confined sheep, fed high (Lucerne) and poor quality (desert grasses) diets. The body weights, rectal temperature and water parameters were monitored in both trials and species under the Sudanese summer conditions. The grazing animal’s body weights were reduced compared to confined ones. Hyperthermia was pronounced in goats (9%) compared to sheep (6%). The goat hyperthermia was associated with high water turnover, indicating the poor heat tolerance of this species of high evaporative cooling. The confined animals, however, maintained their body weights and did not show signs of hyperthermia. The poor diet (desert grasses) was associated with reduced water intake whereas the Lucerne was associated with high water turnover and high feed intake. The extracelluar compartment (ECV) was higher with the poor diet but was lower than the grazing group. The intracellular compartment (ICV) was higher in the Lucerne group. The study indicated that Sudanese Desert sheep are more tolerant to high temperatures and grazing system than goats. 


Sudan desert sheep goats water turnover water space.

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How to Cite
Elhadi, H. M. (2010). Effect of Diet Quality and Housing on Water Status in Sudanese Desert Sheep and Goats. Journal of Agricultural and Marine Sciences [JAMS], 15, 29–32.