Alternative Feed Resources and Their Effects onthe Parametersof Rumen Fermentation, in situ Degradability, the Population of Ciliated Protozoaand the in vitro Gas Production Profile in Sicilo-Sarde Sheep

Document Type : Research Article


School of Higher Education in Agriculture in Mateur, Tunisia


The effect of the substitution of imported raw materials (corn and soyabeans) by local food resources (barley, white sorghum, triticale and horse bean) on the parameters of faciesfermentation and digestibility in the rumen of sheep was evaluated. Four Sicilo-Sarde rams 4.8±0.5 years of age with an average live weight of 45.25±3.5 kg, permanently canulated in the rumen and housed in individual cages were used. Rams received a daily ration in two equal meals. The diet contained 1.5 kg DM of oat hay, complemented by one of four concentrates. During the test, 50 mL of rumen fluid were collected from each animal before and 2, 5, and 8 hours after the morning meal to measure the pH and ammonia nitrogen. Determining the total gas (CO2 and CH4) was performed on filtered rumen contents, collected before the distribution of the morning meal. Counting and classifying different types of ciliates were carried out on unfiltered rumen juice, collected two hours after the morning meal distribution. The dry matter digestibility of the basal diet was determined by nylon bags calibrated during fixed hours (3, 6, 12, 24, 36 and 48). Results showed that the rumen pH was statistically different (P<0.05) before and 2 hours after the morning meal distribution among different types of concentrates, but remained constant at the end of the day (P>0.05). The rate of ammonia nitrogen was in favor (P<0.05) of CCbf and CCms concentrates 5 and 8 hours postprandially. The amount of ammonia in the rumen decreased significantly without a significant difference among diets (P>0.05).The population of ciliates for the concentrate CCbf was significantly higher (P<0.05) than those for CCms, CCsf and CCtf concentrates while different genus of these protozoa were comparable among diets. The total volume of gas produced was lower for the CCbf regimen (P<0.05) compared to other diets. The degradation of DM evolves for different schemes with significant difference (P<0.05) for concentrates CCbf and CCtf.


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