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Effect of the supplementation of a high-concentrate diet with sunflower and fish oils on ruminal fermentation in sheep

AuthorsToral, Pablo G. ; Belenguer, Álvaro ; Frutos, Pilar ; Hervás, Gonzalo
Rumen degradation
Linoleic acid
ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
Issue Date2009
CitationSmall Ruminant Research 81(2-3): 119-125 (2009)
AbstractThis study was conducted to test the hypothesis that the supplementation of a highconcentrate diet with lipids, reportedly a good strategy for improving the nutritional value of ruminant-derived products, may not necessarily be associated with detrimental effects on ruminal fermentation in sheep. Four ruminally cannulated adult ewes were fed a high-concentrate diet, with no oil (Control diet), for a 14-day adaptation period. Afterwards, they were fed the same basal diet but supplemented with sunflower oil [20 g/kg fresh matter (FM)] and fish oil (10 g/kg FM) (SOFO diet) for a further 11 days, to investigate the impact of the addition of oils on the ruminal fermentation of the diet. On days 0 (Control), 3 and 10 of the experimental period rumen fluid was sampled at 0, 1.5, 3, 6 and 9 h after the morning feeding, for analysis of pH, and ammonia, lactate and total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations. Alfalfa hay was incubated in situ, using the nylon bag technique, for 12 and 24 h to examine the effect of oil supplementation on ruminal disappearance of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP) and neutral detergent fibre (NDF). On days 0 and 11, rumen fluid was collected just before the morning feeding and used to incubate alfalfa hay and the Control and SOFO diets by means of the in vitro gas production technique. The mean concentrations of acetate (87.8 vs 73.7 mmol/L) and butyrate (21.2 vs 17.7 mmol/L) were reduced by oil supplementation (P< 0.05) and the total VFA showed a tendency (P= 0.098) to be lower with the SOFO diet (139.0 vs 122.1 mmol/L). However, none of the other in vivo ruminal fermentation parameters were affected by the treatment (P> 0.10). The oil supplementation affected neither in situ rumen disappearance of DM, CP and NDF of alfalfa hay, nor rates of gas production (P> 0.10). On the other hand, a little, but significant reduction in cumulative gas production was observed when the experimental diets were incubated with rumen fluid derived from animals fed the oil-rich diet (P< 0.05). 3 Overall, the results suggest that the supplementation of high-concentrate diets with sunflower oil (20 g/kg FM) plus fish oil (10 g/kg FM) had little effect on ruminal fermentation and therefore its use to improve the nutritional value of ruminant-derived products cannot be precluded.
Description7 pages, 4 tables.-- Available online 21 Jan 2009.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2008.12.009
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