Document Type : Original Article
Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt
Animal and Poultry Physiology Department, Animal and Poultry Production Division, Desert Research Center, Mataria, Cairo, Egypt.
Camel Research Department, Animal Production Research Institute, Dokki, Giza, Egypt.
Background: Camel (Camelus dromedarius) is a vital animal to the daily life of the desert as a source of food and transportation, its milk is used as medicine for diverse ailments. Aim: This study was planned to evaluate the effect of two different feeding systems (farming and pastoral systems) on physiological and immunological indices of one-humped dromedary she-camels during different physiological stages. Material and methods: Forty female camels under farm and grazing systems were used from the Camel Experimental Flock in Matrouh (farming system) and Bedouin flock in a grazing unit in the same area (pastoral system). Blood samples were collected during different physiological stages to determine the desired parameters. Results: It was revealed that lymphocytes significantly increased in grazing camels as compared to farm ones. Leukocytes significantly increased in post-partum and lactation than other camels. The number of RBCs increased significantly in pregnant and lactating than other camels. Albumin increased significantly in pregnant and lactating camels and decreased in dry and post-partum. Results showed a significant increase in blood lipids including total lipids, phospholipids, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoproteins in farm camels compared to grazing ones. Lactating and pregnant camels showed a significant increase in cholesterol compared to dry and post-partum. In lactating camels, insulin significantly increased compared to other groups. But, cortisol significantly increased in post-partum camels. Conclusion: Farm camels show better physiological and immunological profiles than grazing ones reflect the importance of supplementary feeding especially during pregnancy and lactation.