Effects of crude protein level in the concentrate and time allotment on pasture on milk yield, urinary nitrogen, and purine derivative excretion in lactating Latxa ewes
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This study assessed the influence of reducing the crude protein (CP) content (from 190 to 130 g/kg CP/kg) in the supplementary concentrate and time allotment on pasture (TAP) on the milk yield, bodyweight, and the urinary nitrogen (N) and purine derivatives (PD) in lactating Latxa ewes. Animals were reared in a production system that restricted the amount of time that ewes spent on pasture. In mid-April, at the start of the 42 days experiment, 40 dairy Latxa ewes were assigned to one of four groups on the basis of their initial milk yield, days in lactation (DIL), bodyweight (BW), and condition score; thereafter, each group grazed in its own fenced paddock. The experiment was based on a 2 x 2 factorial design that included two CP levels and two pasture grazing regimes: 4 h continuous grazing (CG) in the morning or 2 h grazing in the morning and 2 h in the afternoon (DG). Individual milk yield was recorded three times a week, and time spent grazing and BW was recorded weekly. In the middle (day 15-17; P1) and at the end (day 36-38; P2) of the experiment, urinary spot samples were collected using a catheter. At the end of the experiment, ewes were confined to metabolic cages and urine was collected. CP level of the concentrate was not correlated with time spent grazing; however, the ewes that were permitted access to pasture twice per day spent more time grazing (223 min/day vs 207 min/day, P< 0.01) and were more efficient with their time (56 min/h grazing vs 52 min/h, P < 0.05) than the ewes that were permitted access to pasture once per day. Concentrate CP levels were not correlated with milk yield or composition, although ewes that received the high protein (HP) lost more weight than did those that received the low protein (LP) concentrate. Concentrate CP level and TAP were not correlated with creatinine (CR) excretion rate (mean = 315 mu mol/kg LW0.75 s. e. 0.0161). Urea-N was the largest component of urinary-N (68.7 s. e. 2.33%; P > 0.05), and urea-N waste was higher in HP ewes (202.7 mmol/day) than it was in LP ewes (159.5 mmol/day) (s. d. 27.83; P < 0.01). Ewes subjected to theDGregime had significantly (P < 0.01) higher urinary PD excretion (23.6 vs 21.4 mmol/day s. d. 4.01; P < 0.01), and tended (P < 0.1) to excrete less urea-N (175.1 vs 188.3 mmol, s. d. 27.83) than did the CG ewes. A reduction in the CP in the supplementary concentrate led to a reduction in N waste without having a detrimental effect on performance or milk production
Is part ofAnimal Production Science, 2015, vol. 55, num. 8, p. 1025-1029
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