Voluntary intake and ruminal pH as fermentation indicators in sheep fed a lactic probiotic

D. Gutiérrez, H. Borroto

Abstract


To evaluate the effect of a lactic probiotic on voluntary intake and pH performance in sheep, four Pelibuey animals were used, distributed in a Latin square design (4x4). With an average live weight of 20.75 ± 0.84 kg, they were housed in individual metabolism cages for four periods, 15 days each (10 for adaptation and 5 for sampling), for a total of 60 days. Treatments consisted of the increasing addition (15, 25 and 35 g day-1) of a lactic probiotic to the supplement offered (5 g kg LW-1) on a single occasion during the day (08:30 am), followed by the supply of forage at will. It was demonstrated that dry matter voluntary intake, both absolute (1.16 vs. 1.14 kg, P=0.0011) and relative to metabolic weight (120.37
vs. 118.40 g kg LW 0.75, P=0.0008), benefited the treatment with 15 g d-1 of participation of the probiotic in the diet and control, respectively. Mean ruminal pH values were 6.49 ± 0.18 and showed fluctuations between 6 and 20 h after the initial food ingestion. It is concluded that the minimum level (15 g day-1) of the lactic probiotic in the diet did not affect nutrient intake with respect to control, although superior levels decreased it. This minimum level maintained the ruminal pH, with variations during the frequency of feed administration.
Key words: lactic acid bacteria, rumen, Pelibuey sheep

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