Influence of rumen ciliate protozoa and protein level on rumen fermentation, enzyme activities and blood metabolites in crossbred cattle calves

Pal, D.T.; Kamra, D.N.; Pathak, N.N.; Bisht, G.S.

Journal of Applied Animal Research 13(1-2): 153-159


ISSN/ISBN: 0971-2119
DOI: 10.1080/09712119.1998.9706681
Accession: 003176006

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The influence of ciliate protozoa in the rumen on fermentation and enzyme activities in rumen fluid and blood metabolites of crossbred (Bos taurus X Bos indicus) cattle calves was studied in animals fed at two levels of protein. Sixteen crossbred male calves, separated from their dams at 24 h to 48 h of birth, were divided into two groups - faunated and defaunated and given a diet of normal protein or lower protein (75% of the requirement). The calves were reared in isolation stalls to avoid contact with faunated calves. On 3 months of age ruminal contents from all calves were collected at 4 h post feeding and analysed. The pH, total volatile fatty acids (TVFA), carboxymethylcellulase (CMC), xylanase and protease activities were similar in both faunated and fauna-free calves. Ammonia-nitrogen, TCA-soluble nitrogen, the urease activity, plasma protein and urea levels were significantly lower in ciliate-free animals, than those in faunated animals, whereas, plasma glucose level was significantly higher in defaunated animals. Blood haemoglobin level was not affected either by the presence or absence of protozoa or by the protein level in the diet. The results of the present experiment indicate that the rumen ciliate protozoa affect the nitrogen metabolism of the rumen microbes considerably.