Cistanche deserticola Addition Improves Growth, Digestibility, and Metabolism of Sheep Fed on Fresh Forage from Alfalfa/Tall Fescue Pasture
This study is targeted at evaluating whether C. deserticola addition promotes digestion, nitrogen and energy use, and methane production of sheep fed on fresh forage from alfalfa/tall fescue pastures. The sheep feeding trial was conducted with four addition levels with C. deserticola powder, and a basal diet of fresh alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea). Addition levels of 4% and 6% improved average body weight gain (BWG) by 215.71 and 142.86 g/d, and feed conversion ratio (FCR) by 0.20 and 0.14, respectively. Digestibility of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and ether extract (EE) was 62.25%, 65.18%, 58.75%, and 47.25% under the addition level of 2%, which is greater than that in the control group. C. deserticola addition improved energy utilization efficiency, while addition levels of 2% and 4% increased nitrogen intake and deposited nitrogen. Overall, C. deserticola has the potential to improve growth performance, digestion of sheep, so it has suitability to be used as a feed additive.
Publication history: Accepted - 9 April 2020; Published online - 12 April 2020
additives, NDF, body weight gain, dry matter intake, urine energy, enteric methane emission, grassland
Liu, X., Liu, F., Yan, T., Chang, S., Wanapat, M. and Hou, F. (2020) ‘Cistanche deserticola Addition Improves Growth, Digestibility, and Metabolism of Sheep Fed on Fresh Forage from Alfalfa/Tall Fescue Pasture’, Animals. MDPI AG, 10(4), p. 668. doi: 10.3390/ani10040668.