Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




The current experiment was conducted to examine the impact of a supplement of microalgae (Schizochytrium limacinum) on the performance, rumen fermentation, and blood metabolites in lambs during summer. Forty lambs were used in a 49-day experiment. The lambs were group-fed either a basal diet (alfalfa hay and concentrate, n = 20) or the basal diet along with 5 g/day microalgae (n = 20). Feed intakes were recorded daily and body weight (BW) was measured weekly. Overall, microalgae feeding increased (P < 0.05) the BW and average daily gain. There were no significant differences for average feed intake or feed efficiency (P > 0.05). Microalgae feeding decreased rumen pH (P < 0.05) and tended to reduce proportion of acetate (P < 0.1), while it increased total rumen volatile fatty acid concentration (8.6%; P < 0.01) and proportions of propionate (13.9%, P < 0.01) and valerate (P < 0.01; 26.5%) compared with the control animals. Microalgae feeding increased (P < 0.05) blood glucose (98.47 vs. 84.97 mg/dL) and insulin (64.14 vs. 29.26 ng/mL), whereas it lowered total cholesterol concentrations in blood (62 vs. 58 mg/dL, P < 0.1) compared with the control animals. The results of this study indicate that microalgae supplement influences productivity and enhances dietary energy utilization in lambs during the summer.


Microalgae, blood metabolites, lamb performance, rumen fermentation, Schizochytrium limacinum

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