The effect of different dietary levels of calcium and phosphorus on the plasma calcium inorganic phosphorus and magnesium as well as the ash calcium phosphorus and magnesium content of cervical vertebrae and total body of sheep

Mcdonald, N.; Belonje, P.C.

Journal of the South African Veterinary Association 46(4): 331-334


Six 14 mo. old rams were divided equally into 3 groups and received either a high Ca (1.102% Ca:0.192% P:0.128% Mg), control (0.322% Ca:0.311% P:0.128% Mg) or high P (0.127% Ca: 1.043% P: 0.130% Mg) diet in pelleted form for 150 days. Dry mass and ash percentage of the 3rd cervical vertebra decreased as Ca intake decreased while fat percentage increased. There was a highly significant negative correlation (= -0.992) between bone ash percentage and bone fat percentage. Bone P and Mg showed no particular trends. Total body Ca and P as well as percentage body Ca and P all decreased with a decrease in dietary Ca and increase in dietary P intake. Body Mg showed no particular trend. While plasma values may be useful in assessing the P intake of sheep on natural pastures, bone and total body P may not be.