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Br J Nutr. 1982 May;47(3):521-35.

Effects of cold exposure on feed protein degradation, microbial protein synthesis and transfer of plasma urea to the rumen of sheep.


1. Three diets of barley-canola-seed (Brassica campestris), lucerne (Medicago sativa) or chopped brome-grass (Bromus inermis) were given at intervals of 3 h to closely-shorn Suffolk wethers held at a temperature of 1-5 degree (cold) or 22-24 degree (warm). Apparent digestibility of organic matter (OM) and nitrogen was reduced by 0.08-0.05 and 0.04 units respectively for lucerne and brome-grass diets given to cold-exposed sheep, but no treatment effects on digestibility were observed for the barley-CSM diet. Measurements achieved using infusion of the digesta markers 58Co-EDTA and 103Ru-phenanthroline (103Ru-P) showed that cold exposure depressed apparent OM digestion in the stomach and intestines by 33 and 42 g/d for the lucerne diet, and 13 and 35 g/d for the brome-grass diet respectively. 2. The turnover time (h) of the 103Ru-P marker in the rumen of warm sheep was 38.9 for barley-CSM, 18.4 for lucerne, and 15.6 for brome-grass. In cold-exposed sheep, 103Ru-P turnover time (h) tended to be reduced to 32.3, 12.3 and 15.3 for the three diets, respectively. OM fermentation in the stomach was highly related to 103RU-P turnover time for lucerne and brome-grass diets. 3. Cold exposure increased the escape of dietary N from the abomasum by 0.04 and 0.09 of dietary N intake for sheep given lucerne and brome-grass diets respectively. Dietary N degradation was closely related to 103Ru-P turnover time for lucerne, and to the proportion of large particles in rumen digesta for the brome-grass diet. Estimates of feed N degradation made by use of information on the rate of fermentation of the diet in nylon bags and 103Ru-P turnover time were consistently lower than those observed in vivo for barley-CSM and lucerne diets. Intestinal digestibility of non-ammonia N was not significantly changed by cold exposure. 4. Transfer of urea from plasma to the rumen was 1.4-2.5 g N/d for the barley-CSM and lucerne diets, but the value for brome-grass was 4.5-4.9 g N/d. Cold exposure did not affect urea transfer. The production of ammonia from feed and endogenous protein was approximately 0.66 and 0.47 g N/g N intake of barley-CSM and lucerne diets, with no effect of cold exposure. Cold exposure reduced the value from 0.57 to 0.38 for brome-grass. 5. The results are compared with those obtained previously with pelleted hay, and the importance of large particle breakdown in the prediction of OM and N fermentation using nylon bags is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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