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Tropical animal health and production

Productive performance and urinary excretion of mimosine metabolites by hair sheep grazing in a silvopastoral system with high densities of Leucaena leucocephala.


PMID 22528536

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate daily weight gain (DWG), total dry matter (DM) intake, rumen degradability of forage, and urinary excretion of mimosine metabolites by hair sheep in a silvopastoral system with high densities of Leucaena leucocephala. A completely randomized design was carried out with two treatments: treatment 1 (T1) silvopastoral system with leucaena at a density of 35,000 plants/ha and treatment 2 (T2), leucaena at a density of 55,000 plants/ha. Leucaena was associated with tropical grasses Panicum maximum and Cynodon nlemfluensis. Twenty-four male Pelibuey lambs of 23.2 ± 3.4 kg live weight (LW) were used (12 lambs per treatment). Results showed differences (P < 0.05) in DWG of T1 (106.41 ± 11.66 g(-1) sheep(-1)) with respect to that of T2 (81.33 ± 11.81 g(-1) sheep). Voluntary intake was higher in lambs from T1 (83.81 ± 04.07 g DM/kg LW(0.75)) with respect to that from T2 (71.67 ± 8.12 g DM/kg LW(0.75)). There was a difference in color of urine between sheep of T1 and T2, the latter giving positive results for the presence of metabolites derived from mimosine (3-4 dihydroxypyridine and 2-3 dihydroxy pyridone). Rumen degradability of DM of L. leucocephala was higher (P < 0.05) compared to that of P. maximum and C. nlemfluensis (72.94 ± 0.40 vs. 67.06 ± 1.50 and 63.25 ± 1.51 %, respectively). It is concluded that grazing at high densities of L. leucocephala affects daily weight gain of hair sheep, possibly due to ingestion of high amounts of mimosine which may exert an adverse effect on voluntary intake.