Nutrient-Specific Preferences by Lambs Conditioned with Intraruminal Infusions of Starch, Casein, and Water
Journal of Animal Sciences
We hypothesized that lambs discriminate between postingestive effects of energy and protein and associate those effects with a food's flavor to modify food choices. Based on this hypothesis, we predicted that 1) lambs would acquire a preference for a poorly nutritious food (grape pomace) eaten during intraruminal infusions of energy (starch) or protein (casein) and that 2) shortly after an intraruminal infusion of energy or protein (preload), lambs would decrease their preferences for foods previously conditioned with starch or casein, respectively. Thirty lambs were allotted to three groups and conditioned as follows. On d 1, lambs in each group received grape pomace containing a different flavor and water was infused into their rumens as they ate the pomace. On d 2, the flavors were switched so each group received a new flavor and a suspension of starch (10% of the DE required per day) replaced the water infusion. On d 3, the flavors were switched again, and a suspension of casein (2.7 to 5.4% of the CP required per day) replaced the starch infusion. Conditioning was repeated during four consecutive trials. Lambs in Trial 1 had a basal diet of alfalfa pellets (e.g., free access from 1200 to 1700) and 400 g of rolled barley. Lambs in Trials 2, 3, and 4 received a restricted amount of alfalfa pellets (990 g/d) as their basal diet. After conditioning, all animals received an infusion of water, and, 30 min later, they were offered a choice of the three flavors previously paired with water, starch, or casein. On the ensuing days, the choice was repeated, but starch, casein, and barley replaced the water preload. The nutrient density of the infused preloads was increased during consecutive trials. Lambs preferred the flavors paired with starch > water > casein during Trial 1 (P < .05) and the flavors paired with starch > casein > water during Trials 2 (P < .05), 3 (P < .001), and 4 (P< .001). Preloads of casein decreased preferences for flavors previously paired with casein (P < .10 [Trial 2]; P < .001 [Trial 3], and increased preferences for flavors paired with starch (P < .05 [Trial 2]; P < .001 [Trial 3]). Preloads of energy (barley) had the opposite effect (P < .05 [Trial 3]). These results indicate that lambs discriminated between the postingestive effects of starch and casein and associated the effects with specific external cues (i.e., added flavors) to regulate macronutrient ingestion.
Villalba, J. J.; Provenza, F. D.; 1999. Nutrient-specific Preferences by Lambs Conditioned with Intraruminal Infusions of Starch, Casein, and Water. Journal of Animal Sciences 77(2): 378-387.