Effect of herbal choline and rumen-protected methionine on lamb performance and blood metabolites
Twenty-four lambs (Pelibuey x East Friesian), weighing 22.7 ± 3.2 kg, were fed a basal diet of corn silage, oat hay, alfalfa hay, and concentrate (60% forage and 40% concentrate). Treatments consisted of oral doses of rumen-protected methionine (RPM) (0 and 1.5 g/day) and herbal choline (biocholine) (0 and 4 g/day) in a completely random block design with factorial arrangement of treatments, where lambs were blocked by sex. The experiment was conducted for 60 days, and measurements of live weight and dry matter intake were obtained. No effects of the treatments were observed on performance variables (lamb growth, consumption and feed conversion). Non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) were increased by biocholine and unaffected by methionine (Met). Biocholine increased glucose and cholesterol, whereas methionine increased triglycerides, albumin and plasma protein. The dietary supplementation with biocholine and RPM did not improve lambs’ growth; however, biocholine and Met showed a lipotropic effect by mobilizing NEFA and stimulating glucose and cholestrol synthesis.
Keywords: feed additives, growing sheep, lipid metabolism