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The influence of feeding low-nitrogen rations on the reliability of biological values

, : The influence of feeding low-nitrogen rations on the reliability of biological values. Jour Agric Res 65(9): 429-451

Three N-balance expts. were conducted with growing wether lambs to study the length of time required by lambs to reach an endogenous N level upon a low-N ration; the effect on feed consumption, on losses in body wt., and on N excretion of adding a small amt. of dried skimmilk protein to the low-N basal ration; the time required by lambs to reach a stable level of N utilization when fed rations containing at least 10% protein following the feeding of a low-N ration; and the influence of a low-N ration on the accuracy of biol. value as heretofore obtained with lambs as a measure of quality of protein. A preliminary period of 10 to 12 days was sufficient for lambs to reach a fairly stable level of both urinary N and fecal N excretion following the feeding of a low-N ration. Addition of dried skimmilk protein to the low-N basal ration in amts. of 4% and 1.2% protein increased the palatability of the rations and resulted in less loss of body wt., but the urinary N losses were greater when the dried skimmilk was fed at either level than when the basal ration was fed; evidently the N of the dried skimmilk was not completely utilized even at these low levels. The results in regard to fecal N losses indicate that the dried skimmilk N at each level was completely digested and did not affect the metabolic N losses. Subjecting lambs to a period of feeding on a low-N ration influences their utilization and digestibility of N at a later date, as the lambs were more efficient in their utilization of N due to a lower urinary N loss for at least 30 days following the low-N period of feeding of 20 days. There was a small though significant difference in digestibility with the protein being less digestible for the lambs following the low-N period of feeding. The relative efficiency of the N between rations was not influenced when all comparisons were comparable in regard to time following the low-N period of feeding. The biol. values as detd. for 4 rations following a low-N period of feeding were higher than the biol. values detd. for these same rations and by the same lambs prior to a low-N period.


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