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Different supplements associated to spineless cactus in diets for sheep: intake, apparent digestibility and ruminal parameters

The study was conducted with the objective to evaluate the intake, apparent digestibility of the nutrients and of ruminal fermentation characteristics of sheep fed diets based on spineless cactus, sugar cane bagasse and urea associated to diferents supplements. Five non-castrated male sheep were allotted to a 5 x 5 Latin square design, with five animals (lines) and five periods (columns). Each experimental period last 13 day. The ration without supplement was composed of 67.6% of spineless cactus, 27.7% of sugar cane bagasse, 2.7% of urea:ammonium sulphate mixture (9:1) and 2.0% of mineral mixture, in dry matter (DM) basis. The other treatments consisted of the addition of a supplement to the ration (0,4% of body weight), being: wheat meal, soybean meal, cottonseed meal or whole cottonseed. Were not observed effects of supplement association on the evaluated parameters, being: 3.29%, 60.61%, 76.37%, 6.51 and 11.85mg/100mL the means value for intake of DM (% of body weight), digestibility of DM and CP, pH and ruminal ammonium, respectively. The choice of supplement should be associated with the availability and cost.

amonium; Opuntia ficus indica Mill; pH; supplementation

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