Acta Scientiarum. Animal Sciences
On-line version ISSN 1807-8672
ALVES, Evanilton Moura et al. Mesquite pod meal associated with levels of urea on feeding sheep: nitrogen balance, plasma urea-N and ruminal parameters. Acta Sci., Anim. Sci. [online]. 2012, vol.34, n.3, pp. 287-295. ISSN 1807-8672. http://dx.doi.org/10.4025/actascianimsci.v34i3.12759.
The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of including urea in diets containing mesquite pod meal on nitrogen balance, plasma urea-N and ruminal parameters. Eight gelded males, with mean weight of 33.5 kg, were divided into two 4 x 4 Latin squares. Treatments consisted of following urea levels in diet: 0, 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5% of total dry matter. The diet was provided as total diet a 40:60 forage: concentrate ratio based on total diet DM. Total urine and feces were collected and nitrogen excretion was determined. Blood was collected, followed by plasma extraction and quantification of urea nitrogen. To evaluate pH and ammonia-N in rumen fluid, four rumen fistulated animals were used . Intake of N (31.68 g day-1) and losses through feces (7.94 g day-1) and urine (9.95 g day-1) did not change. The concentrations of ammonia-N and plasma urea-N increased linearly. Rumen pH was similar among treatments. The inclusion of urea does not influence the nitrogen balance, but increases the concentrations of rumen ammonia-N and urea nitrogen in plasma, which may influence energy expenditure in the body.
Keywords : alternative feed; confinement; metabolism; non-proteic nitrogen; small ruminants.