Comparative digestibility and rumen fermentation of camels and sheep fed different forage sources

Ibrahim M. Khattab*, Adel M. Abdel-Wahed, Uchenna Y. Anele, Sobhy M. Sallam, Hani M. El-Zaiat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The present study evaluated the effects of forage sources on dry matter (DM) intake, digestibility, and fermentation parameters in camels vs. sheep. The study was arranged as a 2 × 3 factorial experiment in a completely randomized design by using two animal species (three ruminally cannulated female camels and three male sheep) and three forage sources. The forages were (1) alfalfa hay; 164 and 479 g/kg DM for crude protein (CP) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF), respectively, (2) berseem hay; 121 and 513 g/kg DM for CP and NDF, respectively, and (3) wheat straw (27.5 and 723 g/kg DM for CP and NDF, respectively). Higher DM intake [g/kg body weight (BW)] was noted in sheep compared to camel when alfalfa hay (p < 0.05) and berseem hay (p < 0.05) were fed but was similar between both species when they were fed wheat straw. Forage type rather than animal species had more effect on metabolic intake. Lower digestibility was noted in sheep with wheat straw (p < 0.05). Similar in situ degradability values for crude protein and DM were noted between camels and sheep. In situ degradability of NDF was higher (p < 0.05) in camel than sheep. Greater ruminal pH (p < 0.05) was noted in sheep vs. camels when berseem hay and wheat straw were fed. Lower ruminal passage rate (p < 0.05) was noted in camels and higher total mean retention time. It was concluded that sheep and camels had similar digestion capacities when fed berseem hay and alfalfa hay, however, camels are more efficient than sheep when fed wheat straw.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-618
Number of pages10
JournalAnimal Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Camels
  • digestibility
  • forage source
  • intake
  • rumen fermentation
  • sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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