The effects of different levels of protected unsaturated fatty acid supplement in starter diet on performance and metabolic parameters of early weaned Ghezel lambs

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Former M.Sc. Student, Department of Animal Science, Agriculture Faculty, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Animal Science, Agriculture Faculty, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science, Agriculture Faculty, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

4 Ph.D. Candidate Ruminant Nutrition, Department of Animal Science, Agriculture Faculty, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran


This experiment was carried out to compare the effects of different levels of unsaturated fatty acid supplementation in the starter diet on daily weight gain and metabolic parameters of Ghezel lambs. Twenty male lambs were breastfeed for 4 weeks and randomly divided into 4 groups of 5 animals in a complete randomized design. After 2 weeks of adaptation, they were fed starter diets supplemented with different levels of protected unsaturated fatty acids. Experimental diets were of starter diet with concentrate to forage ratio of 90:10, supplemented with different levels of rumen protected PUFA ca-salts. Treatments were including control (breast fed lambs) and experimental groups were fed starter diets supplemented with 3, 4.5 and 6 percent of lipid supplement. The effect of treatments on dry matter intake and live weight gain were significant. The highest amount of feed intake and weight gain were observed in 3% fat supplemented group. The highest NDF, ADF, OM and CP digestibility was observed in 3% fat supplemented concentrate but crude fat digestibility was not affected by treatments. The amount of acetic acid in all treatments showed a significant difference compared with each other and increased with increasing fat percentage in the diet. The ratio of acetic acid to propionic acid shows a significant decrease upon fat supplementation. Plasma glucose and total protein levels significantly increased and triglycerides decreased in fat supplementation groups compared with control. Generally, early weaning with 3% of protected fat supplemented diet increased lamb growing performance without negative health issues.


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