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Effects of sudden melon intake on ruminal parameters of non-adapted sheep

Efeitos da ingestão súbita de melão sobre os parâmetros ruminais de ovinos não adaptados

Francisco L.C. Oliveira Raimundo A. Barrêto Júnior Antonio H.H. Minervino Marcondes Dias Tavares Rodolfo Gurgel Vale Carolina Akiko Sato Cabral Araújo Rejane Santos Sousa Enrico Lippi Ortolani About the authors


This study evaluated the effects of varying amounts of melon with high sugar content offered to sheep without prior melon experience and that were not adapted to consuming it. We used 12 eight-month-old, rumen-cannulated crossbred sheep weighing 25 kg each. The animals received a base diet of roughage, and then half were randomly selected to have 25% of their diet replaced with melon (G25%) and the other half had 75% of their diet replaced with melon (75%). Ruminal fluid was collected before administration of melon and at 0, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 h after the administration of the fruit. Sheep from the G25% group presented volatile fatty acid ruminal acidosis (sub-acute) between 3 and 6 h after consumption. This acidosis was characterized by a rumen pH slightly lower than 5.6, increased discrete L-lactic acid content, and increased redox potential (RP) and methylene blue redox (MBR) time of the ruminal fluid. The G75% group presented lactic ruminal acidosis at T6h, characterized by a rumen pH lower than 5.0, high lactate-L content, increased RP and MBR time, and increased ruminal fluid osmolarity. Therefore, offering large amounts of melon (75% of dry matter (DM)) is not recommended but 25% of DM of this fruit can be used safely.

Index Terms:
Melon; acidosis; rumen; sheep; fruits; pH; lactate.

Colégio Brasileiro de Patologia Animal - CBPA Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira, Caixa Postal 74.591, 23890-000 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil, Tel./Fax: (55 21) 2682-1081 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil