Effect of Different Levels of Undegradable Protein on Performance, Reproductive Activity and Rumen Fermentation in Ewes during Flushing Period

Document Type : Original Article


1 Nutrition and Clinical Nutrition Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Bensi-Suef University, Egypt

2 Biology of Reproduction Department- Animal Reproductive Research Institute - El Haram, Egypt


The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of different protein sources with different degradability ratios during flushing period of ewes on body weight change, reproductive performance, and rumen fermentation parameters. 35 multiparous native crossbred ewes (BW = 54±2.5kg) were randomly allocated to five dietary treatments (7 ewes/treatment) for 3 months. Experimental diets were isonitrogenous (12.27% CP) and isocaloric (2.22Mcal ME)/kg DM. In diet I (control), solvent extracted soybeans (SESM 33% RUP of CP), II feed grade urea (FGU 31% RUP), III slow release urea (SRU 31% RUP). As sources of undegradable protein, extruded expeller SBM-EESM 40 (37% RUP) and extruded expeller SBM-EESM 60 (41% RUP) were used in groups IV and V, respectively. Ewes fed a 37% RUP diet gained more (p<0.05) weight compared with ewes fed a 31% RUP diet (6.71 vs. 2.92kg). Ewes in EESM 40 had the highest twinning percentage, while the urea groups had the highest fertility rate. Protein source and RUP levels in ewes’ diets had no significant effect (P< 0.05) on feed intake, CP, ME, BCS, progesterone level, blood biochemical parameters, and rumen kinetics. In conclusion, the dietary level of RUP (37% of CP) in EESM 40 was the best for producing twins, gaining weight, and having the highest level of progesterone hormone and a lower degree of degradation of branched chain amino acids, while SRU (31% of RUP) had the best fertility rate, which was confirmed by the highest levels of blood glucose and progesterone.


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