Effects of sodium bicarbonate, polyethylene glycol and methionine added to rations with sorghum [Sorghum vulgare) in fattening lambs on growth performance, wool quality and some blood biochemical markers

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The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of sorghum-based rations supplemented or not with sodium bicarbonate, polyethylene glycol (PEG) or methionine on the growth performance, the wool quality and some biochemical parameters in fattening lambs. A total of 35 Morkaraman lambs were randomly allotted in 5 equal groups according to the composition of the rations distributed for 7 weeks: control lambs received a 60% wheat ration while wheat was substituted by sorghum (containing 0.67% tannins) in the 4 assay groups without supplementation or with addition of sodium bicarbonate, PEG or methionine. While the wool quality was not altered in the Iambs fed with sorghum, the weight growth was significantly delayed, particularly during the second half of the fattening period, whereas the feed intake was significantly enhanced leading to a significant alteration of the feed efficiency. In parallel, the glycaemia, the calcemia and the sideremia were markedly reduced compared to the controls whereas the antioxidant status was strengthened (decrease in the circulating malondialdehyde concentrations and increase in the serum total antioxidant activity) and the endogenous glutathione peroxidase activity was preserved. When sodium bicarbonate or methionine were used as feed additive, the weight gains were dramatically increased, notably in the second period, leading to a significant improvement of the feed efficiency (despite significant increases in the feed intake) and of the economical benefits. Calcemia, sideremia and glycaemia at a lesser extend were partially restored and the antioxidant / oxidant equilibrium was not significantly altered. By contrast, the PEG addition was less efficient on growth and even induced significant decreases in serum triglyceride and VLDL concentrations compared to lambs supplemented with methionine. These results show that sorghum containing 0.67% tannins will be used with the addition of sodium bicarbonate or methionine in rations for fattening lambs.


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Antioxidants, Blood biochemistry, Fattening lamb, Growth, Methionine, Nutrient assimilation, Polyethylene glycol, Sodium bicarbonate, Sorghum, Tannins, Wool quality


Revue de Medecine Veterinaire

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