Sheep Fed Grain Prefer Foods and Solutions That Attenuate Acidosis
Journal of Animal Science
We conducted experiments to determine whether lambs fed grain prefer foods and solutions containing sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) and lasalocid, compounds capable of attenuating acidosis. In Exp. 1, we determined whether lambs fed barley preferred flavored rabbit pellets (RP) containing NaHCO3 and lasalocid. Lambs in two groups (n = 10/group) were fed increasing amounts of barley on d 1 to 12 (300 to 1,100 g) and again on d 23 to 34 (300 to 1,350 g). After ingesting barley on d 1 to 12, lambs were fed ground RP containing lasalocid and NaHCO3 (i.e., medicated) and flavored with either 2% onion (group 1) or 2% oregano (group 2). During d 23 to 34, lambs were fed unmedicated RP containing NaCl and flavored with either 2% oregano (group 1) or 2% onion (group 2). During preference tests on d 35 to 40, lambs fed grain preferred RP with NaHCO3 to RP with NaCl (151 vs. 96 g; P < .01). In the Exp. 2, we determined whether wheat ingestion affected consumption of aqueous solutions containing NaHCO3. In trial 1, 28 lambs were assigned to four treatments: 1) low-wheat + 2% NaHCO3, 2) high-wheat + 2% NaHCO3, 3) low-wheat + water, and 4) high-wheat + water. For 12 d from 0800 to 0830, lambs in treatments 1 and 3 were fed 300 g of wheat and lambs in treatments 2 and 4 were fed up to 1,300 g of wheat; fluids (NaHCO3 and water) were then offered from 0930 to 1230 daily. Lambs drank more NaHCO3 on the high-than on the low-wheat diet (1,332 vs 890 g; P = .03); water consumption was similar for lambs on the high-and low-wheat diets (1,675 vs 1,700 g; P > .10). In trial 2, lambs in treatments 3 and 4 were offered a solution containing 1.4% NaCl. For 13 d from 0800 to 0830, lambs in treatments 1 and 3 were fed 500 g of wheat and lambs in treatments 2 and 4 were fed up to 1,700 g of wheat. Lambs had access to fluids from 0800 to 1200 daily. Lambs drank nearly twice as much NaHCO3 solution on the high-than on the low-wheat diet (1,066 vs 572 g), whereas they drank only 1.4 times more NaCl solution on the high-than on the low-wheat diet (888 vs. 634 g; P < .001). Fewer lambs showed signs of acidosis in treatment 2 than in treatment 4 in trials 1 (2 vs 9) and 2 (7 vs 17). Collectively, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that lambs fed grain prefer substances that attenuate acidosis.
Phy, T. and Provenza, F. (1998). Sheep fed grain prefer foods and solutions that attenuate acidosis. Journal of Animal Science, 76(4): 954-960.