Supplementing dairy ewes grazing low quality pastures with plant-derived oils and rumen-protected EPA+DHA pellets improves lactation traits and body condition score

Nguyen, Quang V., Le, Hung V., Nguyen, Don V., Nish, Peter, Otto, John R., Malau-Aduli, Bunmi S., Nichols, Peter D., and Malau-Aduli, Aduli E.O. (2018) Supplementing dairy ewes grazing low quality pastures with plant-derived oils and rumen-protected EPA+DHA pellets improves lactation traits and body condition score. Animals, 8 (12). 241.

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Abstract

The Australian dairy sheep industry is small and mostly based on a natural grass grazing system which can limit productivity. The current study tested different plant oil-infused and rumen protected polyunsaturated fats and their interactions with sire breeds to improve lactation traits and body condition score (BCS) of ewes grazing low quality pastures. It was hypothesised that supplementing lactating ewe diets plant-derived polyunsaturated oils will improve milk production and composition without compromising BCS. Sixty ewes (n=10/treatment) in mid-lactation, balanced by sire breed, parity, milk yield, body condition score, and liveweight were supplemented with: 1) control: wheat-based pellets without oil inclusion; wheat-based pellets including 2) canola oil (CO); 3) rice bran oil (RBO); 4) flaxseed oil (FSO), 5); safflower oil (SFO) and 6) rumen protected fat containing eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (RPO). Except for the control group, all supplementary diets included the same level of 50 ml/kg DM of oil and all diets were isocaloric and isonitrogenous. Experimental animals were grazed in the same paddock with ad libitum access to pasture, hay and water during the 10-week study. RPO was the most effective diet that enhanced milk, fat and protein yields by approximately 30, 13, and 31% respectively (P<0.0001). Significant increase in milk production was also observed in CO, RBO, and SFO (P<0.0001). Breed significantly influenced animal performance with higher milk yield recorded for crossbred Awassi x East Friesian (AW x EF) (578 g/day) vs purebred Awassi (452 g/day) (P<0.0001). This study provides empirical evidence for the use of rumen-protected and plant-derived oil-infused pellets as supplements under low quality pasture grazing conditions, to improve production performance of purebred Awassi and crossbred AW x EF ewes.

Item ID: 56183
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2076-2615
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Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 by the author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2019 00:05
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0702 Animal Production > 070204 Animal Nutrition @ 90%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0702 Animal Production > 070201 Animal Breeding @ 10%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830302 Dairy Cattle @ 50%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830310 Sheep - Meat @ 50%
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