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Archivos de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1885-4494Print version ISSN 0004-0592


MARTINELE, I. et al. Diet botanical composition and rumen protozoa of sheep in Brazilian Semi-Arid area. Arch. zootec. [online]. 2010, vol.59, n.226, pp.169-175. ISSN 1885-4494.

This study aimed to determine the influence of seasonal variations on diet botanical composition and rumen protozoa of five rumen fistulated Santa Ines crossbred sheep kept in natural Caatinga vegetation pasture, Pernambuco State, Brazil. Samples were collected in July 2005 and January 2006, the respective rainy and dry seasons. Botanic composition of animal diet was determined by analysis of ruminal extrusa. The rainy season diet was composed mainly by herbaceous and grass species (88%), with Herissantia tiubae making up 51.7%. The dry season diet consisted of shrub species (67.4%), mainly Capparis yco (26.3%) and Bauhinia cheilantha (22.3%). Under such conditions variations in protozoa populations were observed, with the higher total concentration (p<0.05) during the rainy season. Populations of Entodinium genus predominated in both seasons, although decreasing (p<0.05) during the dry season, as did the Epidinium and Eremoplastron genera. The Dasytricha, Diploplastron, Eudiplodinium and Isotricha genera had the higher concentrations (p<0.05) in the dry season.

Keywords : Caatinga; Santa-Ines crossbred sheep; Dry season; Protist; Rainy season; Climatic conditions.

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