Clinical chemistry of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus) yearling hinds reared on grass or papillonaceous pasture paddocks in Hungary
Abstract. Yearling red deer (Cervus elaphus) hinds of identical initial body weight were reared on a monocotyledonous grass (group 1) or on a papillonaceous plant pasture (group 2) for 212 days. At the end of the experiment (when deer were shot) blood was taken from ten animals of each group for serum biochemical analysis. Hinds of group 2 provided higher final body weight (90±3.5 vs. 101±6.6 kg) and higher daily body weight gain (105.7±10.7 vs. 153.8±26.8 g/day). Within serum nitrogenous compounds group 2 provided higher total protein concentrations, while from the lipids only serum triglyceride levels were higher in this group. Serum potassium was in both groups higher than the reference range with a superposed slight hyperkalaemia in group 2. Higher lactate dehydrogenase and alkaline phosphatase activities were found in group 2 and lower aspartate aminotransferase activity values. Inorganic phosphate concentration showed a significant difference (group 1 provides higher values). Results refer to an expressed venison growth as a result of the rich dietary protein supply of group 2. Findings were evaluated as well with discriminant factor analysis, outlining the relative importance of the single blood biochemical parameters in shaping the inter-group differences.