Body weight, testes development and serum testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels were determined and compared in two groups of peri-pubertal male dromedaries. Daily maximum and minimum ambient temperatures and dry and wet-bulb temperatures were recorded. Temperature-humidity index was calculated. The camels were divided into two equal groups of nine camels each, of comparable body weight: Group (A) received a diet of 13% crude protein and 2.9 MCal metabolizable energy (ME) with added premix, while Group (B) received a non-pelleted diet of alfa-alfa and wheat straw at the ratio of 1:3 giving 12.4% CP and 2.7 MCal ME. Individual feed intake was calculated after 14 days of adaptation. Feed offered and orts were recorded daily throughout the experimental period (24 months). Animals were fed diets containing 1:3 alfa alfa:wheat straw. Blood samples were collected from 5 camels in each group at 15-day intervals during the experimental period. None significant difference in total body weight was found between groups A and B throughout the entire experimental period (p >0.05). Group averages of daily feed intake for the entire period were 5.82 kg in group A and 7.08 kg in group B, respectively (p<0.05). The latter group had significantly larger testicular size than group A (p<0.05), seasonal difference in testicular size was also significant (p<0.05); serum FSH level was significantly higher in group B than group A (p<0.05), whereas serum testosterone and LH levels were comparable in the two groups.
Key words: Camelus dromedaries, body weight gain, testicular size, testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH).
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