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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.20.0477    [Accepted] Published online October 14, 2020.
Protozoa population and carbohydrate fermentation in sheep fed diet with different plant additives
Małgorzata Paulina Majewska1,*  , Renata Miltko1  , Grzegorz Bełżecki1  , Aneta Kędzierska1  , Barbara Kowalik1 
Department of Animal Nutrition, The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Polish Academy of Sciences, Jabłonna 05-110, Poland
Correspondence:  Małgorzata Paulina Majewska, Tel: +48 22 7653365, Fax: +48 22 7653302, Email: m.majewska@ifzz.pl
Received: 10 July 2020   • Revised: 21 August 2020   • Accepted: 10 July 2020
Abstract
Objective
The aim of the study was to compare the effect of two plant additives, rich in polyphenolic compounds, supplemented to sheep diets on microorganisms and carbohydrate fermentation in rumen.
Methods
In the experiment, 6 ewes of the Polish Mountain breed were fitted with ruminal cannulas. Sheep were divided into three feeding groups. The study was performed in a cross-over design of two animals in each group, with three experimental periods (n=6 per each group). The animals were fed a control diet (CON) or additionally received 3 g of dry and milled lingonberry leaves (VVI) or oak bark (QUE). Additionally, plant material was analyzed for tannins concentration.
Results
Regardless of sampling time, QUE diet increased the number of total protozoa, as well as Entodinium spp., Diplodinium spp. and Isotrichidae family, while decreased bacterial mass. In turn, a reduced number of Diplodinium spp. and increased Ophryoscolex spp. population were noted in VVI fed sheep. During whole sampling time (0, 2, 4 and 8 h), the number of protozoa in ruminal fluid of QUE sheep was gradually reduced as opposed to animals receiving CON and VVI diet, where rapid shifts in the protozoa number were observed. Moreover, supplementing sheep with QUE diet increased molar proportions of butyrate and isoacids in ruminal fluid. Unfortunately, none of the tested additives affected gas production.
Conclusion
The addition of VVI or QUE in a small dose to sheep diets differently affected rumen microorganisms and fermentation parameters, probably because of various contribution of catechins in tested plant materials. However, it is stated that QUE diet seems to create more favorable conditions for growth and development of ciliates. Nonetheless, the results of the present study showed that VVI and QUE additives could serve as potential natural modulators of microorganism populations and, consequently, carbohydrate digestion in ruminants.
Keywords: Lingonberry Leaves; Oak Bark; Microorganisms; Short-chain Fatty Acids; Methane; Sheep
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