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Nefzaoui A.,ICARDA | Ben Salem H.,Laboratoire des Productions Animales et Fourrageres | El Mourid M.,ICARDA
EAAP Scientific Series | Year: 2011

Small ruminant production is the main source of income of farmers living in the arid and semiarid Mediterranean regions. However, the development of this sector is constrained by numerous environmental, institutional, social and economical factors. These areas are characterized by low and erratic rainfall resulting in water scarcity leading to a low fodder potential. Furthermore, native rangelands are degrading due to overgrazing, high stocking rates and mismanagement. Options to improve small ruminant-based production systems include (1) innovative technologies targeting the increase of feed resources availability, improving diets' quality and alleviation of feeding cost, (2) organization of local institutions for better adoption of these technologies and to protect the main natural resources (rangelands and water), (3) participatory approaches involving all stakeholders concerned with the improvement of farmer's income and livelihoods and the better use of natural resources. This paper reports on updated knowledge and technologies available to improve the productivty and sustainabilty of production systems in the Mediterranean arid and semi-arid regions and discusses the success stories as well as failures of a set of technologies targeting the promotion of small ruminant production in the Mediterranean basin.

Lahouar L.,University of Monastir | Ghrairi F.,University of Monastir | El Felah M.,Laboratoire des Grandes Cultures | Salem H.B.,Laboratoire des Productions Animales et Fourrageres | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry | Year: 2011

The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effects of diet enriched with dietary fiber of barley variety "Rihane" and azoxymethane on serum and liver lipid variables in male rats. Forty male rats were divided into four groups and fed on control diet or experimental diet that contained control enriched with dietary fiber of barley variety "Rihane". Animals were injected with saline (controls) or azoxymethane (20 mg/kg body weight s.c.) at 7 and 8 weeks of age. The experimental diet significantly decreased cholesterol level compared with the control diet. Rats fed with BR diet significantly increased the serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and significantly decreased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations. The experimental diet decreased the atherogenic index (p<0.05) compared with the control diet. Whereas the azoxymethane induced a significant increase of liver lipid, serum LDL and triglyceride concentrations, but it caused a significant reduction of HDL. Consequently, the ratio of HDL/TC decreased significantly compared with the control (p<0.05). Accordingly, these results indicated that the diet enriched with dietary fiber of barley variety "Rihane" could be effective in decreasing the atherogenic risk factors in rats whereas the use of the azoxymethane as colon-specific carcinogen substance altered the lipid metabolism. © University of Navarra 2010.

Lahouar L.,University of Monastir | Pochart P.,French National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts | Salem H.B.,Laboratoire des Productions Animales et Fourrageres | El Felah M.,Laboratoire des Grandes Cultures | And 7 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2012

Many epidemiological and experimental studies have suggested an important role for dietary fibre (DF) of cereals in the prevention of colon cancer. The objective of the present study was to explain the effects of the DF of barley Rihane (BR) on azoxymethane (AOM)-induced aberrant crypt foci (ACF) and colonic bacterial diversity in rats. Following an acclimatisation period, rats were divided into four groups and fed a control (C) diet or experimental diet containing 30% of BR. DF content in the experimental diet was twice that of the C diet (total DF was 8·69% in the C diet and 15·24% in the BR diet). At 7 and 8 weeks of age, rats received two successive subcutaneous injections of AOM at 20mg/kg body weight. At 12 weeks after the first injection, ten animals from each group were killed. The BR diet decreased colonic pH (P<0·05) compared with the C diet. The total number of ACF observed decreased considerably in the BR/AOM group compared with the C/AOM group (P<0·05). Comparison of similarity coefficients showed variability of colonic microbiota species between the different groups. In addition, we showed inter-individual variability within the same group. This similarity was affected by BR and AOM. The present results show that bifidobacteria numbers were lower in rats fed the BR diet compared with those fed the C diet. However, the number of enterobacteria in colonic content was increased (P<0·05) in the BR group compared with the C group. The results from the present study show that the DF of BR reduced the incidence of AOM-induced ACF and increased microbiota biodiversity. Copyright © 2012 The Authors.

Rekik M.,Ecole Nationale de Medecine Veterinaire | Ben Salem H.,Laboratoire des Productions Animales et Fourrageres | Lassoued N.,Laboratoire des Productions Animales et Fourrageres | Chalouati H.,Ecole Nationale de Medecine Veterinaire | Ben Salem I.,Ecole Nationale de Medecine Veterinaire
Small Ruminant Research | Year: 2010

This trial investigated effects of cactus incorporation in the diet of the late pregnant-early suckling ewe on mammary gland secretions, blood metabolites, ovarian activity and lamb growth. Thirty-four single bearing ewes of the Barbarine breed aged 4.4 ± 1.7 years that were oestrus synchronised were selected. Animals were allocated to either barley treatment (n = 17) with daily feeding of 1.5 kg of oaten hay, 0.33 kg of barley and 0.11 kg of soybean meal per ewe or to a cactus treatment (n = 17), with feeding of 1.5 kg of oaten hay, 3 kg of cactus cladodes and 0.14 kg of soybean meal per ewe. The trial lasted approximately 60 days and started 4 weeks before lambing and continued until 30 days postpartum. Plasma concentrations of phosphorus, total protein, glucose and insulin before and after lambing slightly differed between ewes in both treatment groups and were more affected by time relative to lambing. Ewes fed cactus had higher (P < 0.05) plasma levels of calcium than their counterparts fed barley. Colostrum production did not differ between feeding regimes. The colostrum immunoglobulin G concentrations averaged 160 and 149 g/l (S.E.M. = 12.9) in the barley and cactus groups, respectively. Milk yield at day 10 and 30 from birth was not affected by treatment (P > 0.05). Milk yield at 30 days was 1030 and 1041 g/day (S.E.M. = 96.9) for barley and cactus, respectively. Lamb live weight at 10 days of age was, respectively, 6.2 and 6.8 kg (S.E.M. = 0.23) for barley and cactus and identical (9.5 kg) at 30 days of age. The feeding regime did not affect ovarian activity at 30 days from lambing. It is concluded that cactus can totally replace barley grain in the diet of late pregnant-early suckling Barbarine ewes without affecting mammary secretions, resumption of ovarian activity or lamb growth. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Lassoued N.,Laboratoire des Productions Animales et Fourrageres | Rekik M.,Ecole Nationale de Medecine Veterinaire | Gonzalez-Bulnes A.,INIA | Ben Salem I.,Ecole Nationale de Medecine Veterinaire | Tounsi A.,Ecole Nationale de Medecine Veterinaire
Small Ruminant Research | Year: 2013

Preovulatory follicle dynamics and plasma oestradiol around the time of onset of oestrus as well as ovulation rate were assessed, during non-breeding season, in prolific (W; n = 20) and non prolific (AB; n = 20) strains of the Barbarine sheep. Oestrus cycles were synchronized with progestagen sponges for 14 days followed by introduction of rams. Transrectal ultrasonographic monitoring of the ovaries was carried out from the day of pessaries removal up to oestrous exhibition. Blood samples were collected every 4. h and were analyzed for plasma concentrations of oestradiol by radioimmunoassay. Laparoscopy was performed 11 days after introduction of rams to assess number of corpora lutea (CL). Results indicate that along the first 5 days after introduction of rams, 20 and 14 ewes of respectively the AB and W ewes exhibited oestrus (P < 0.01). Ewes of the W strain had more medium (3.5-5.4. mm) follicles than AB ones during the follicular phase; the difference being significant (P < 0.01) 24. h before oestrus. The number of medium follicles prior to oestrus changed little in AB ewes but declined rapidly from 5.8 ± 0.7 to 4.0 ± 0.6 in W females (P < 0.05). Differences in medium follicles between strains were not reflected in the number of large (≥5.5. mm) or the growing large follicles during the follicular phase. Around oestrus, plasma oestradiol concentrations were higher for W in comparison to AB ewes (22.3 ± 12.6 vs. 11.8 ± 6.2. pg/ml; P < 0.01) and mean ovulation rates were 1.8 ± 0.8 and 1.1 ± 0.3 for respectively W and AB ewes (P < 0.01). In conclusion, the increased ovulation rate in the W strain is related to an extended period of follicle recruitment with appearance of co-dominance effects. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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