Preference for Flavored Wheat Straw by Lambs Conditioned with Intraruminal Administrations of Sodium Propionate
Journal of Animal Science
American Society of Animal Science
Villalba, J. J., & Provenza, F. D. (1996). Preference for flavored wheat straw by lambs conditioned with intraruminal administrations of sodium propionate. Journal of Animal Science, 74(10), 2362-2368.
We hypothesized that volatile fatty acids are feedback signals that condition food preferences in ruminants, and we tested two predictions based on this hypothesis: 1) low doses of propionate condition preferences for low-quality foods (Exp. 1 and 2) preferences are not caused by osmotic load (Exp. 2). In Exp. 1, lambs were offered chopped wheat straw flavored with either oregano or onion on odd days, whereas on even days flavors were switched and lambs received capsules containing sodium propionate. During four 8-d conditioning periods, the amounts of propionate delivered ranged from .7 to 1.4% of the daily DE intake (Period 1) or were fixed at .7% (Period 2) and 1% of the daily DE intake (Periods 3 and 4). After each 8-d conditioning period, lambs were offered oregano- and onion-flavored straw. Conditioning was then suspended and lambs were offered onion- and oregano-flavored straw at weekly intervals for 1 mo (extinction). Lambs preferred the flavor paired with propionate during conditioning (P < .001) and extinction (P < .07). During Exp. 2, a different group of lambs was conditioned as in Exp. 1, but sodium chloride was delivered at osmotic loads equivalent to those when propionate supplied .7% and 1% of the daily DE intake. Lambs strongly avoided the flavor paired with sodium chloride (P < .001). Thus, lambs acquired preferences for straw conditioned with doses of propionate typically considered ineffective in the regulation of food intake, and osmolalities generated by propionate did not cause, but probably attenuated, food preferences.