Track 1-02

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Ruminant production systems based on grass pastures often produce poor animal performance as expressed by growth or reproductive rates. The nutrient imbalance affecting rumen function is due to their low energy and protein intake. The incorporation of leguminous forages such as Leucaena leucocephala, in the diet of ruminants, can stimulate rumen function by providing protein-rich forage (Barros-Rodriguez et al. 2012). This increases the availability of compounds such as ammonia, amino acids and peptides as well as branched short-chain fatty acids, which are produced as a result of degradation of proteins. These substances promote fibre breakdown by acting as ruminal growth activators for rumen bacteria, especially cellulolytic bacteria (Hoover and Stokes 1991). This study aimed to evaluate the effects of 2 intake levels of L. leucocephala on rumen function of sheep fed Pennisetum purpureum.

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Effects of Two Intake Levels of Leucaena leucocephala on Rumen Function of Sheep

Ruminant production systems based on grass pastures often produce poor animal performance as expressed by growth or reproductive rates. The nutrient imbalance affecting rumen function is due to their low energy and protein intake. The incorporation of leguminous forages such as Leucaena leucocephala, in the diet of ruminants, can stimulate rumen function by providing protein-rich forage (Barros-Rodriguez et al. 2012). This increases the availability of compounds such as ammonia, amino acids and peptides as well as branched short-chain fatty acids, which are produced as a result of degradation of proteins. These substances promote fibre breakdown by acting as ruminal growth activators for rumen bacteria, especially cellulolytic bacteria (Hoover and Stokes 1991). This study aimed to evaluate the effects of 2 intake levels of L. leucocephala on rumen function of sheep fed Pennisetum purpureum.