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Problem statement: Ciliate protozoa are one of the normal microorganisms that found in rumen of both domestic and wild ruminants. Several factors seem to influence the concentration and composition of the protozoal fauna in the rumen. The aim of the present study was to determine the rumen ciliates protozoa diversity in Ghizel sheep of East Azerbaijan province and evaluate effects of alfalfa replacement by multiple level of dried grape by-product (0, 15, 30 and 45% of diet) on ciliate protozoa population. Approach: In the first experiment, samples of rumen fluids were collected from 16 mature sheep. Selected sheep were belonged to 4 pure herds of Ghizel sheep in east Azerbaijan province. In the second experiment, sixteen mature Ghizel wether sheep of live weight 34 kg (±1.5) were used. Data obtained from study was subjected to ANOVA as a completely randomized design with 4 replicates by the GLM procedure and treatment means were compared by the Duncan test. Results: In experiment 1, different geographical locations affect total number of rumen ciliated protozoa (p<0.05), Entodinium spp. and Dasytricha spp. In experiment 2, the concentrations of Entodinium spp., Diplodinium spp., Holotricha spp. and Opharyoscolex species were higher when 15% dried grape by-product (DGB) was included in the diet. With increasing DGB in diets the number of Epidinium spp. and Euo diplodinium spp. reduced in treatments 2 (15% of diet replaced by DGB) and 3 (30% of diet replaced by DGB) (p<0.05). Conclusion: The different geographical locations affected total number of rumen ciliated protozoa, Entodinium spp. and Dasytrisha spp. The concentration of Diplodinium was observed to increase when sheep were fed with dried grape by-product.
American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences 01/2009; DOI:10.3844/ajavsp.2009.37.41