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Decreasing dietary NFC concentration during mid-lactation of dairy ewes: does it result in higher milk production?

Cannas, Antonello and Cabiddu, Andrea and Bomboi, Giovanni Cristoforo and Ligios, Sebastiano and Floris, Basilio Remo and Molle, Giovanni (2013) Decreasing dietary NFC concentration during mid-lactation of dairy ewes: does it result in higher milk production? Small Ruminant Research, Vol. 111 (1-3), p. 41-49. eISSN 1879-0941. Article.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.smallrumres.2012.09.009

Abstract

The effect of the level of dietary non-fiber carbohydrates (NFC) on intake, in vivo digestibility, milk production and endocrine-metabolic status was studied in 20 Sarda ewes (mean ± SE, BW 42.5 ± 3.9 kg) at mid-lactation stage (89 ± 1 DIM). Ewes were divided into 2 groups and fed chopped alfalfa hay at 400 g/d and pelleted concentrates ad libitum in metabolic cages during 3 weeks. The concentrates differed in NFC concentration (NFC = 36% of DM: group NFC36; NFC = 23% of DM: group NFC23), due to the substitution of cereal grains with soybean hulls in the low NFC diet. Dry matter intake was higher for NFC23 than for NFC36 (2900 g/d vs. 2555 g/d; P < 0.01). Dry matter digestibility was higher in NFC36 than in NFC23 (68.4% vs. 62.9%, P < 0.001), while the contrary occurred for NDF digestibility (52.9% vs. 56.1%, P < 0.015). Energy intake did not differ between groups (P < 0.2). Dietary NFC concentration negatively affected milk yield (1813 ml/d vs. 2110 ml/d, for NFC36 and NFC23 groups, respectively, P < 0.001) and positively affected milk protein concentration (4.68% vs. 4.51%, P < 0.05, respectively), whereas milk fat concentration was similar between groups (5.06% vs. 5.19%, P < 0.2). Body fat increased (P < 0.05) without treatment-associated differences. Higher glucose (P < 0.05) and lower urea concentrations (P < 0.001) were found in blood plasma of NFC36 ewes compared to NFC23 ewes. Insulin concentration in blood plasma was higher in NFC23 than in NFC36 (P < 0.01), whereas GH levels were similar between groups. In conclusion, the low dietary NFC concentrate based on soybean hulls exerted positive effects on intake and milk yield in mid-lactating ewes, probably due to a higher proportion of the ingested energy being devoted to milk secretion.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:8636
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sheep, milk, non-fiber carbohydrates, soybean hulls, intake, metabolism
Subjects:Area 07 - Scienze agrarie e veterinarie > AGR/18 Nutrizione e alimentazione animale
Area 07 - Scienze agrarie e veterinarie > VET/02 Fisiologia veterinaria
Divisions:002 Altri enti e centri di ricerca del Nord Sardegna > AGRIS Sardegna, Olmedo > Dipartimento per la ricerca nelle produzioni animali
001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Agraria
001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Medicina Veterinaria
Publisher:Elsevier
eISSN:1879-0941
Deposited On:19 Feb 2013 09:59

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