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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2000;13(7): 922-928.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2000.922    Published online July 1, 2000.
Rumen Parameters and Urea Kinetics in Goats and Sheep
Darlis, N. Abdullah, R. A. Halim, S. Jalaludin, Y. W. Ho
Abstract
The effects of animal species and supplements on rumen fluid characteristics, plasma urea-N (PUN) concentration, plasma urea-N pool size, urea-N degradation in the gut and urea-N net flux (urea-N synthesis rate) were studied in goats and sheep, with some minor differences detected. The animals were fed either chopped rice straw ad libitum+200 g soybean meal (SBM), or chopped rice straw ad libitum+190 g soybean meal+300 g sago meal (SBM+SM) for 14 days. The supplements were isonitrogenous (80 g crude protein/animal/d). [14C]-urea was used as the marker for urea metabolism studies. Two animals from each species were fed either supplement in a cross-over design in two periods. The results showed that rumen pH was significantly (p<0.001) lower in animals fed SBM+SM than those fed SBM supplement. The ammonia concentrations of rumen fluid were significantly (p<0.01) higher in sheep (382.9 mg N/L) than goats (363.1 mg N/L) when fed SBM supplement but lower (282.5 mg N/L) than that of goats (311.0 mg N/L) when fed SBM+SM supplement. Total VFA concentrations were significantly (p<0.05) higher in animals fed SBM+SM supplement than those fed SBM supplement. Goats had significantly (p<0.01) higher molar proportions of acetate (79.1, 77.7%, respectively) than sheep (75.8, 74.0%, respectively) in both supplements. The molar proportion of acetate was significantly (p<0.05) higher, while that of butyrate lower in animals fed SBM supplement than those fed SBM+SM supplement. In animals fed SBM supplement, the molar proportion of propionate was significantly (p<0.01) higher in sheep (18.0%) than in goats (15.6%), but in animals fed SBM+SM, the molar proportion of butyrate was significantly (p<0.01) higher (9.6%) in sheep than in goats (7.2%). Plasma urea-N concentration, plasma urea-N pool size, urea-N degradation in the gut, urea-N net flux and the fraction of urea-C from the blood entering the rumen were not significantly different between goats and sheep fed either supplement. However, PUN concentration was significantly (p<0.05) lower in animals fed SBM+SM supplement (average of 13.8 mg N/100 ml) than in those fed SBM supplement (average of 16.5 mg N/100 ml). The urea net flux was significantly (p<0.05) higher in goats (average of 14.5 g N/d) than sheep (average of 12.9 g N/d), and animals fed SBM supplement showed higher (average of 14.9 g N/d) urea net flux than animals fed SBM+SM supplement (average of 12.9 g N/d). A significant (p<0.05) positive correlation was observed between urea-N net flux and urea-N degradation; urea-N net flux and pool size; urea-N net flux and urea excretion in the urine; and PUN and rumen ammonia in goats. While in sheep, significant (p<0.05) positive correlation was observed between urea-N net flux and urea excretion in the urine; and PUN and rumen ammonia.
Keywords: Goats; Sheep; Rumen Parameters; Urea Kinetics


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