Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Animal Science (MS)

Degree Level



Animal Science


Joan M. Burke

Committee Member

Charles Rosenkrans, Jr

Second Committee Member

Kenneth Coffey

Third Committee Member

Dan J. Donoghue


Lamb, Molybdenum, Sericea Lespedeza, Trace Mineral


The objective of this research was to find the effect of prolonged feeding of sericea lespedeza (SL) supplemented with sodium molybdate on changes in body weight, serum and liver concentration of trace minerals (TM), hematology, serum biochemistry, and gastrointestinal parasites. Thirty ram lambs (Katahdin and ¾ Katahdin × ¼ Romanov) were weaned; blood, liver, and fecal samples were collected and signs of internal parasitic infection on lambs were recorded. Lambs were supplemented with 900 g of alfalfa (n = 10; CON) or SL (n = 20) based supplement for 103 d. Within the SL group, half of the lambs were administered sodium molybdate (n = 10; SL+MO) to ameliorate a reduction of serum molybdenum concentrations observed previously. Body weight and body condition scores (BCS) were recorded every two wk. Supplementation of sodium molybdate (P < 0.001) increased serum and liver concentrations of molybdenum in SL+MO lambs similar to that of CON diet fed lambs; however body weight was similar (P = 0.74) between molybdenum supplemented and non-supplemented lambs. Serum and liver concentrations of TM, mainly molybdenum, zinc, copper, selenium, and cobalt were reduced in SL compared with CON fed lambs. Supplementation with SL reduced most of the hematological and serum biochemical values in SL lambs compared with CON fed lambs. Body weight, BCS, fecal egg counts and fecal oocyst counts were similar between the dietary treatments; however clinical signs associated with parasitic infection were reduced in SL compared to CON diet fed lambs.