Effects of low concentrations of dietary cobalt on liveweight gains, haematology, serum vitamin B12 and biochemistry of Omani goats

Khalid Al-Habsi, Eugene H. Johnson*, Isam T. Kadim, Anandarajah Srikandakumar, Kanthi Annamalai, Rashid Al-Busaidy, Osman Mahgoub

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Seventy-three, 10-week-old, newly weaned Omani goats of three different breeds, namely Dhofari (D), Batinah (B) and Jebel Akhdar (JA) were randomly divided into a control (n = 38) and a treated group (n = 35) for an experimental period of 10 months. Goats in both groups were fed 150 g/day per head of a pelleted concentrate, based on body weight and their requirements and Rhodes grass hay ad libitum, containing 0.12 and 0.10 mg/kg DM cobalt, respectively. Goats in the treated group also received bi-monthly subcutaneous injections of 2000 μg hydroxycobalamin. In contrast to the treated goats, the control animals of all breeds experienced a severe decrease in their serum vitamin B12 levels, developed pale mucous membranes, appeared scruffy and two breeds (D and B) had significantly lower weight gains from month 5. Untreated kids of all breeds had significant decreases in their red blood cell counts and erythrocyte indices after approximately four months. Controls developed low total serum protein levels whilst activities of alkaline phosphatase and aspartate aminotransferase significantly increased. Although it is widely assumed that goats are more resistant to cobalt deficiency than sheep this is apparently not true for Omani goats. Based on experimental data from previously reported studies and those from the present study it can be concluded that the reduction in weight gains in D and B goats is related to their lower digestibility coefficients for dry matter, crude protein and energy while the increase in alkaline phosphatase and aspartate aminotransferase are associated with developing hepatic lipidosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-137
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • Cobalt
  • Goats
  • Haematology
  • Serum biochemistry
  • Vitamin B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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