Diversity and physical properties of rumen microbial ecosystem of West African dwarf rams fed ammonium sulphate-fortified diets
Ammonium sulphate is a feed additive used in ruminant feeds mainly for stabilization of the intestinal flora, enhance the development of the adult rumen microflora, improve digestion and nitrogen flow towards lower digestive tract and improve meat and milk production. In the study the diversity of rumen microbial ecosystem of WAD rams fed ammonium sulphatefortified diets at 0, 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5g/kg to the concentrate diet as T1, T2, T3 and T4 respectively was assessed. Sixteen WAD rams with average body weight of 12.20+0.12 kg were used and fed for 109 days, each treatment had four replicates. In a completely randomized design and differences among treatment means were examined using least significant difference, each ram was fed at 5% of their body weight at 60:40 levels of experimental diet and wilted guinea grass as basal diet. Variables measured were: S. typhimurium, E. coli, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. The results indicated that establishment of the microbial population of diets consisting of 7.5g/kg (N4H2 ) SO4 were significantly higher in bacteria and fungi than the control diet (P<0.05). It was concluded that fortification at 7.5g/kg (N4H2 ) SO4 give a better understanding of the role of rumen microbes and the establishment of the microbial population, which help to maintain the host's health and improve animal performance.
Keywords: Ecosystem, microbes, health status, WAD rams, ammonium sulphate