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Open AccessArticle

Ruminal Fermentation, Growth Rate and Methane Production in Sheep Fed Diets Including White Clover, Soybean Meal or Porphyra sp.

1
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), PB 115, N-1431 Aas, Norway
2
Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University, AU Foulum, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark
3
Estación Experimental del Zaidin (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas), Profesor Albareda, 1, 18008 Granada, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(1), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010079
Received: 5 December 2019 / Revised: 20 December 2019 / Accepted: 31 December 2019 / Published: 2 January 2020
In ruminant feeding, the use of diets containing seaweeds could be a valuable alternative to conventional diets. The objective of this work was to investigate the ruminal fermentation, growth rate and methane production in sheep fed a diet including Porphyra sp. compared with diets including clover silage or soybean meal. Including Porphyra sp. had little impact on ruminal fermentation and methane production both in vitro and in vivo. Lambs fed Porphyra sp. had a similar growth rate to those fed a diet including soybean meal, confirming previous in vitro and in situ observations on the high-quality protein of Porphyra sp. in ruminant feed.
The aim of the present work was to investigate the potential of Porphyra sp. as an alternative source of protein to soybean meal in diets for sheep. Our experimental treatments included a control diet (CON) based on grass silage and crushed oats and three diets containing protein supplements, clover silage (CLO), soybean meal (SOY) or Porphyra sp. (POR) to increase dietary crude protein concentrations. We studied its effects on rumen fermentation, growth rate and methane emissions. Ruminal fermentation characteristics, kinetics of gas production and methane production were studied in vitro by using batch cultures inoculated with rumen inoculum from sheep. There were no differences among diets in total volatile fatty acids (VFA) production or in the VFA profile in vitro. Across treatments, we measured no differences in methane production either in vitro or in vivo, and we saw no noticeable antimethanogenic effect of Porphyra sp. The present in vivo trial with lambs showed no differences in average daily weight gain when fed diets including Porphyra sp. or soybean meal diets (250 and 254 g/d, respectively). We conclude that Porphyra sp. has a protein value similar to high-quality protein sources like soybean meal. View Full-Text
Keywords: Macroalgae; lamb; ewe; in vitro; in vivo; performance; seaweed Macroalgae; lamb; ewe; in vitro; in vivo; performance; seaweed
MDPI and ACS Style

Lind, V.; Weisbjerg, M.R.; Jørgensen, G.M.; Fernandez-Yepes, J.E.; Arbesú, L.; Molina-Alcaide, E. Ruminal Fermentation, Growth Rate and Methane Production in Sheep Fed Diets Including White Clover, Soybean Meal or Porphyra sp.. Animals 2020, 10, 79.

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