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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1998;11(4): 351-362.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1998.351    Published online August 1, 1998.
A comparison of ammonia and preformed protein as a source of nitrogen for microbial growth in the rumen of sheep given oaten chaff
J. Kanjanapruthipong, R. A. Leng
Microbial growth efficiency in the rumen was studied in sheep given hourly, 31.25 g oaten chaff with either 0.31 and 0.88 g urea or 1.88 and 5.63 g casein (exp. 1) and 33.33 g oaten chaff with 1.04 casein or 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 g urea or the mixture of the casein and urea (exp. 2). Concentrations of ruminal fluid ammonia increased with increasing nitrogenous supplements. Organic matter digestibility in sacco in the rumen was not different irrespective of N sources. Isoacids and valeric acid increased with increasing ingested casein but decreased with increasing urea intake. Peptide and amino acid pools in ruminal fluid increased with increasing ammonia concentrations (exp. 2) suggesting that proteolytic activity and transportation of peptides and amino acids across microbial membrane of rumen microbes may be regulated by the metabolite mechanism (intracellular amino acids and NH4+, respectively). Densities of total viable and cellulolytic bacteria in ruminal fluid increased with increasing ammonia levels but that of small Entodinia decreased. The density of fungal sporangia growth on oat leaf blades decreased with increasing ammonia concentrations but appeared to remain constant in the presence of casein. Efficiency of net microbial cell synthesis was 15-28% higher when ammonia concentrations increased from 100 to above 200 mg N/l regardless of N sources. In conclusion, supplementation of preformed protein had no effect on rumen digestion and microbial growth efficiency. This could not be accounted for its effect on ruminal fluid ammonia. Increased microbial growth efficiency with increasing ammonia levels may be due to a reduction in the turnover of microbial cells within the rumen.
Keywords: Ruminal Fluid Ammonia; Preformed Protein; Microbial Growth Efficiency

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