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Article

Effects of Zinc Sulfate or Propylene Glycol on Intake, Digestibility, and Forage Selection by Grazing Sheep in a Semi-Arid Region During the Rainy Season

1
Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte 123-970, Brazil
2
Embrapa Goats and Sheep, Estrada Sobral-Groaíras, Sobral 62010-970, Brazil
3
Department of Animal Science, Vale do Acaraú State University, Sobral, CE 62040-370, Brazil
4
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(11), 867; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110867
Received: 17 October 2019 / Accepted: 22 October 2019 / Published: 25 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Small Ruminant Nutrition and Metabolism)
Caatinga is an important biome in Brazil’s semi-arid region, it is characterized by low precipitation and great plant availability seasonality. In this context, mineral and energy supplementation may improve pasture consumption and nutrient utilization. The objective of this study was to determine intake, nutrient availability, and animal selection of major forage species by sheep supplemented with zinc sulfate or propylene glycol in Caatinga-native pastures during the rainy season. Twenty-four sheep were distributed into three treatments (control, Zn, and propylene glycol supplement) in this 112-day study. There was no effect of treatments on plant selection. However, plant species selected by sheep changed over time. Generally, greater intakes were found in April compared to May. In conclusions, based on the finding of this study, Zn and PG supplementation did not improve sheep nutrient intake when grazing Caatinga-native pasture in the rainy season.
The objective of this study was to determine intake, nutrient availability, and animal selection of major forage species in sheep supplemented with zinc sulfate or propylene glycol in Caatinga-native pastures during the rainy season. Twenty-four mixed Santa Inês sheep, all non-castrated males, with initial weight of 19.3 ± 2.52 kg and 4 ± 0.35 months of age, were distributed in a complete randomized design into three treatments: Control (CT)—concentrate supplemented at 0.7% of body weight; CT + 300 mg of Zn day−1; CT + 2.5 mL of propylene glycol/kg LW0.75·day−1. Measurements were done in four periods during the rainy season, with 28 days of interval between each measurement. Differences were observed in the composition of the ruminal extrusa samples from pastures for crude protein (CP) (192 to 131 g kg−1), in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) (537 to 441 g kg−1), and in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) (468 to 359 g kg−1) in March and June, respectively. There was no effect for treatments, neither for the treatment x period interaction on organic matter (OM), CP, and fibrous fraction intake (p > 0.05). Organic matter intake (OMI) was, on average 23.9% greater in March compared to June. CP intake decreased monthly (p < 0.05). Fibrous fraction intake was greater in March (p < 0.05), with reductions of 34.8, 33.3, and 39.4% in June, respectively, for neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), and cellulose (CEL) fractions. There was no effect of treatments (p > 0.05) on selection of vegetal species present in the pasture. On the other hand, the proportion between ingested species changed over the experimental period. Greater intakes were found in April compared to May, except for Zizyphus joazeiro intake, which was greater in March (p < 0.05). In conclusion, based on the finding of this study, Zn and propylene glycol (PG) supplementation did not improve sheep nutrient intake when grazing Caatinga-native pasture in the rainy season. Caatinga-native pasture biomass has adequate protein and digestible organic matter levels during early rainy season. Over this period, however, the advanced maturity of the plants and the reduced availability of pasture may result in variations of intake by the animals. In the months of April to June, a reduced energy supply is caused by reduced nutritive values of pastures, which contributes to inefficient protein utilization and reduced feed intake. View Full-Text
Keywords: Caatinga; native pasture; forage quality; ruminal extrusa sample; selectivity; tannins Caatinga; native pasture; forage quality; ruminal extrusa sample; selectivity; tannins
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MDPI and ACS Style

Costa, H.; Saliba, E.; Galvani, D.; Bomfim, M.; Lana, Â.M.; Borges, A.L.; Landim, A.; Faciola, A. Effects of Zinc Sulfate or Propylene Glycol on Intake, Digestibility, and Forage Selection by Grazing Sheep in a Semi-Arid Region During the Rainy Season. Animals 2019, 9, 867. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110867

AMA Style

Costa H, Saliba E, Galvani D, Bomfim M, Lana ÂM, Borges AL, Landim A, Faciola A. Effects of Zinc Sulfate or Propylene Glycol on Intake, Digestibility, and Forage Selection by Grazing Sheep in a Semi-Arid Region During the Rainy Season. Animals. 2019; 9(11):867. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110867

Chicago/Turabian Style

Costa, Hélio, Eloisa Saliba, Diego Galvani, Marco Bomfim, Ângela M. Lana, Ana L. Borges, Aline Landim, and Antonio Faciola. 2019. "Effects of Zinc Sulfate or Propylene Glycol on Intake, Digestibility, and Forage Selection by Grazing Sheep in a Semi-Arid Region During the Rainy Season" Animals 9, no. 11: 867. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110867

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