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Comparison of rumen fermentation patterns and in situ degradation of grazed herbage in Churra and Merino sheep

AuthorsRanilla, María José ; Carro Travieso, Mª Dolores ; Giráldez, Francisco Javier ; Mantecón, Ángel R. ; González, Jesús Salvador
KeywordsRumen fermentation
Grazing season
Sheep breed
In situ degradation
Issue Date2000
CitationLivestock Production Science 62(2): 193-204 (2000)
AbstractThe aim of this experiment was to study the effect of breed (Churra and Merino) and advancing season (middle June, late July and early October) on rumen fermentation in sheep grazing a continuously stocked grass /white clover pasture. Six mature sheep (three Churra and three Merino) fitted with rumen cannulae were used. During each grazing period, samples of the grazed herbage (obtained using three oesophageal-cannulated sheep from each breed) and grass hay were incubated in situ. Rumen pH, ammonia-N and volatile fatty acids concentrations were determined in ruminal samples at 11.00, 14.00, 17.00 and 21.00 h. Breed did not affect (P > 0.05) any of the dry matter (DM) degradation parameters of grazed herbage during July, but potential DM degradability and effective DM degradability were higher (P < 0.05) in Merinos than in Churras during June and lower (P < 0.05) during October. On the contrary, there were no differences (P > 0.05) between breeds in the effective degradability of either DM or neutral-detergent fibre from grass hay. Differences between breeds in rumen degradation parameters of grazed herbage are discussed in relation to seasonal changes in the composition of the grazed herbage and to changes in rumen parameters in both breeds.
Description12 pages, 5 tables, 3 figures.-- Available online on Dec 17, 1999.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0301-6226(99)00058-5
Appears in Collections:(IGM) Artículos
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