Three groups of five wethers with ruminal and duodenal cannulas and maintained as either fauna-free (FF) or inoculated with total mixed fauna (TF) or Entodinium caudatum as a single-species monofauna (EN) were used in an experiment with two 28 d periods. In the first period, the sheep were fed a control barley-based diet (40:60 concentrate to silage DM) and in the second period the diet was supplemented with 187g DM of Enterolobium cyclocarpum for the last 12 d of the period. The diets of period I and 2 were isonitrogenous. There was no effect of fauna on apparent ruminal and total tract organic matter and fibre digestion, but bacterial and microbial N flow and efficiency were improved in FF sheep compared to TF sheep. In period 2, protozoal numbers were reduced between 31 and 88 % 2 h after feeding E. cyclocarpum for the third to twelfth day of supplementation and by an average of 25 % in samples collected over the 24 It feeding cycle. Supplementation of the diet with E. cyclocarpum and the consequent protozoal reduction in TF and EN sheep improved the flow of non-ammonia N and bacterial N to the small intestine and the efficiency of microbial synthesis. However, E. cyclocarpum reduced ruminal organic matter digestion, especially in faunated sheep, and total tract organic matter, N and fibre digestion. Thus, a reduction in the protozoal cell numbers of 25 % was sufficient to achieve the beneficial effects of reduced fauna on the bacterial protein supply, but diet digestibility was reduced.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||British Journal of Nutrition|
|Early online date||26 Apr 2007|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 2007|