Interpretive Summary: Effects of whole corn high-grain diet feeding on ruminal bacterial community and epithelial gene expression related to VFA absorption and metabolism in fattening lambs
By: Lu Wang, Weibiao Qi, Shengyong Mao, Weiyun Zhu, Junhua Liu
Long-term feeding of high-grain diets with too fine crushed grains to sheep will cause a series of health issues. Therefore, our study was to investigate the effects of whole corn (unprocessed corn) high-grain diet feeding on growth performance and rumen development in fattening lambs. Fourteen male (castrated) lambs were randomly assigned to either a group fed a ground corn high-grain diet (50.4% grain; HGC, n = 7) or a group fed a whole corn high-grain diet (50.4% grain; HWC, n = 7). After 7 wk of feeding, the whole corn group significantly increased the body weight. The sheep in the 2 groups ate the same amount, but the HWC group had a greater body weight. Whole corn group changed rumen microbial community, among which starch-degrading bacteria were easier to survive in the rumen. Whole corn group promoted the rumen epithelial papilla growth. All in all, compared to ground corn, feeding whole corn high-grain diet to the fattening lambs directly had a better effect. Whole corn did not require processing, which saved costs and was of great significance to actual sheep production.
Read the full article on the Journal of Animal Science.