Performance of dairy ewes fed diets with a fibrolytic enzyme product included in the concentrate during the suckling period

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Abstract

Seventy-two multiparous ewes from two dairy breeds (Manchega, n = 36 and Lacaune, n = 36) were used in a replicated 2 x 2 factorial design to evaluate the effects of diet supplementation with an exogenous fibrolytic enzyme product on lactation performance and feed intake during the suckling period (weeks 1 to 4) according to breed. Ewes were blocked in groups of nine and fed ad libitum after lambing a diet based on 70% forage and 30% concentrate to which the enzyme was added after pelleting. Experimental concentrates were: control (without enzyme) and enzyme (fibrolytic enzyme complex, included at 0.47% volume to weight of concentrate). Twenty-four dry and open ewes (Manchega, n = 12 and Lacaune, n = 12) were also grouped by breed and used to measure the fill value of the ration used. During the suckling period, milk yield, milk composition, dry matter intake, lamb growth, as well as body weight change and body condition score change were not affected by enzyme supplementation. Breed effect was significant for milk yield, the Manchega ewes yielding less milk with a higher content of milk components than the Lacaune ewes. The opposite was observed for dry matter intake. Enzyme supplementation reduced intake by 9% in the dry ewes, resulting in a greater fill value of the diet. In conclusion, no lactational effects were detected when the fibrolytic enzyme product was added to the concentrate fed to dairy ewes. Copyright © The Animal Consortium 2008.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)962-968
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal
Volume2
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008

Keywords

  • Dairy sheep
  • Fibrolytic enzyme
  • Fill value
  • Intake
  • Suckling

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