Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




The objective of this study was to investigate ruminal fluid and whole blood oxidant-antioxidant status in normal and fauna-free small ruminants. Forty male Ramlıç lambs, a local breed in the Afyon area, with an average body weight of 32-36 kg and approximately 210 days old were used. The lambs were divided equally into 4 groups (faunated (F), defaunated (D), faunated + urea (FU) and defaunated + urea (DU)). Malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) concentrations in the ruminal fluid and blood were measured. In comparison with the controls, all parameters were significantly higher in the fauna-free animals. The ruminal fluid MDA concentration decreased and the GSH level increased when 2.9% urea was added to rations. The defaunation procedure causes MDA formation to increase in the blood and ruminal fluid. The presence of 2.9% urea in rations may lead to lower oxidative stress and an augmented GSH level in rumen of fauna-free animals. Therefore, urea can be an important local antioxidant for the rumen of ruminants. As a result, defaunation may make the animals more susceptible to oxidative stress. Urea supplementation appears to reduce oxidative stress status and to support the antioxidant defense system in the rumen. Urea supplementation may be of major importance for fauna-free ruminants, whose ruminal antioxidant status may not be sufficiently well prepared to enhance performance.


Defaunation, urea, oxidative stress, glutathione, malondialdehyde, antioxidants

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