Forage particle size and the number of feedings over energy and protein metabolism in sheep

This study aimed to evaluate the effect of different forage particle sizes and the feeding frequency on the animals metabolism. Eight lambs with 52.5kg live weight were distributed in a randomized block design according the 2x4 factorial, corresponding to two feeding frequencies and four particle sizes (2mm; 5mm; 10mm and 25mm). The forage used was the Tifton-85 hay (Cynodon spp.) and commercial concentrate, adjusting the forage: concentrate ratio to 25:75%. The respirometry experiment was conducted in an open circuit respiration chamber for small ruminants. The concentrations of oxygen, carbon dioxide and methane were determined. Nitrogen content was determined in urine. With these parameters was determined heat production (PC). The nitrogen retained represented 36.0% of Nitrogen (N) intake (g/day) and 46.8% of N absorbed (g/day). The CH4 average production was 1.45L/UTM/day. The PC was approximately 40.0% of crude energy intake. The metabolizable energy was 73.2% of crude energy intake and the average value of net energy was 1807.35kcal/day. There was no effect of particle size and feeding frequency on the nitrogen balance and energy metabolism.

calorimetry; net energy; physically effective fiber; respirometry


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