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Production responses of reproducing ewes to a by-product-based diet inoculated with the probiotic Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain H57

Le, Oanh T., Schofield, Benjamin, Dart, Peter J., Callaghan, Matthew J., Lisle, Allan T., Ouwerkerk, Diane, Klieve, Athol V., McNeill, David M.
Animal production science 2017 v.57 no.6 pp. 1097-1105
Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Dorper, agroindustrial byproducts, ammonia, birth weight, diet, digestibility, ewes, fatty acid composition, feed intake, lactation, lambs, nitrogen, nutritive value, organic matter, pH, palatability, palm kernel meal, parity (reproduction), pellets, pregnancy, probiotics, starch, volatile fatty acids
The potential application of the spore-forming probiotic Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain H57 (H57) as a novel probiotic for ruminants was evaluated in reproducing ewes. Performance responses were determined by delivering H57 in a pelleted diet based mainly on palm kernel meal (PKM) and sorghum grain. PKM is an agro-industrial by-product with a reputation for poor palatability and the availability of the starch in sorghum grain can be limited in ruminants. The hypothesis was that H57 improves the feeding value of a relatively low quality concentrate diet. Twenty-four first-parity white Dorper ewes were fed PKM-based pellets manufactured with or without H57 (109 cfu/kg pellet) in late pregnancy. During this phase of late pregnancy, the H57 ewes ate 17% more dry matter (1019 vs 874 g/day, P = 0.03), gained more weight (194 vs 30 g/day, P = 0.008) and retained more nitrogen (6.13 vs 3.34 g/day, P = 0.01), but produced lambs with a similar birthweight (4.1 vs 4.2 kg, P = 0.73). Rumen fluid collected from H57 ewes in late pregnancy had higher pH (7.1 vs 6.8, P = 0.07), acetate:propionate ratio (3.4 vs 2.7, P = 0.04), lower ammonia (69 vs 147 mmol/L, P = 0.001) and total volatile fatty acid concentrations (40 vs 61 mg/L, P = 0.02). The digestibility of dry matter, organic matter and fibre were similar between the two groups. The lambs of the H57 ewes grew faster than those of the Control ewes for the first 21 days of lactation (349 vs 272 g/day, P = 0.03), but not thereafter. H57 can improve feed intake and maternal liveweight gain in late pregnancy of first-parity ewes fed a diet based on PKM.