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Arterial amino acid concentrations in sheep consuming forage diets


Small Ruminant Research 29(1): 51-60, June 15
Arterial amino acid concentrations in sheep consuming forage diets
Arterial blood collected from sheep was analyzed for various amino acids to evaluate effects of dietary forage characteristics on adequacy of amino acid availability for protein synthesis. In three experiments with grass diets consumed ad libitum or in limited quantities by nearly mature wethers, differences in grass source and(or) quality generally did not markedly affect arterial concentrations of essential amino acids. In the fourth experiment, wethers (7.5 months of age and 31 +- 0.8 kg BW) consumed ad libitum bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon; BG) and ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum)-wheat (Triticum aestivum; RW) hay mixtures in percentages of 0, 33, 67 and 100%. As DE intake decreased with increasing dietary level of BG, arterial lysine concentration increased linearly (P = 0.02; 116, 137, 144 and 157 muM for 0, 33, 67 and 100% BG, respectively); whereas, concentrations of other essential amino acids did not differ among treatments. In the fifth experiment, wethers (8.5 months of age and 33 +- 0.9 kg BW) consumed ad libitum BG or RW either coarsely chopped or finely ground and pelleted; DE intake was greater for RW vs. BG and for pelleted than for chopped grass. Lysine concentration was greater (P = 0.01) for BG than for RW and was decreased (P = 0.03) by pelleting (133, 118, 114 and 78 muM for chopped BG, pelleted BG, chopped RW and pelleted RW, respectively). Conversely, concentrations of tryptophan, valine, phenylalanine, isoleucine and leucine were greater (P < 0.03) for RW than for BG, and grinding and pelleting increased concentrations of valine (P = 0.07) and phenylalanine (P = 0.06). In conclusion, DE intake with grass diets may influence particular amino acids most limiting to protein synthesis by growing ruminants, with lysine availability being of relatively greater concern with forages yielding high vs. low DE intake.

Accession: 003046475

DOI: 10.1016/s0921-4488(98)00088-1

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