Comparative effects of low levels of dietary cobalt and parenteral injections of Vitamin B12 on body dimensions in different breeds of Omani goats

I. T. Kadim, O. Mahgoub, D. Al-Ajmi, K. R. Al-Habsi, E. H. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of low levels of dietary cobalt and parenteral Vitamin B12 supplementation on live body weight and the body dimensions of three breeds of Omani intact male goats, namely Batina (14 goats), Dhofari (14 goats) and Jabal Al-Akdhar (14 goats). The animals were fed Rhodes grass hay and a commercial diet containing 0.10 and 0.12 mg/kg DM of cobalt, respectively, from week 9 (weaning age) to week 48. At weaning, the kids were divided into control and treated groups. At week 9, the kids in the treated group were injected subcutaneously with 2000 μg of hydroxocobalamin (Vitamin B12) and thereafter at 8-week intervals to week 48 of age. Serum Vitamin B12 levels and various measurements of live body dimensions were determined on week 10, and then at 4-week intervals until 48 weeks of age. Serum Vitamin B12 levels were significantly higher (P < 0.01) in treated goats than control goats throughout the course of the experiment. The serum levels of Vitamin B12 for the control group declined to levels below 200 pg/ml consistent with those of lambs considered to have a deficiency of Vitamin B12. Body measurements such as body length, and rump and wither heights were more affected by Vitamin B12 injection than rump and wither widths. At the end of the experiment (week 48), control animals were about 89% of the live body weight of the treated group. The overall body length of the control group was 92.7% of the body length of the treated animals, whereas rump height, rump width, wither height and wither width were 93.5, 87.6, 96.7 and 90.4% of the treated animals, respectively. The Jabal Al-Akdhar breed had significantly heavier body weight and greater body dimensions than the Batina and Dhofari breeds irrespective of treatment. This study indicated that injection of Vitamin B12 improved live body weight and also enhanced the body growth of cobalt deficient goats. To insure normal growth and development of goats, serum Vitamin B12 levels must be maintained at above 350 pg/ml.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-252
Number of pages9
JournalSmall Ruminant Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Body dimensions
  • Body weight
  • Cobalt
  • Deficiency
  • Goat
  • Vitamin B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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