The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of dietary inclusion of Tongmai granule residue (TGR) on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood biochemical parameters and rumen fermentation in sheep. Twenty-four healthy Doper × Small Tail Han hybrid female lambs (6–7 months of age; 29.64 ± 1.80 kg initial body weight) were randomly allocated into 3 groups and fed diets to which 0, 10 and 15% TGR were added for 75 days. It was shown that TGR dietary inclusion at the level of 15% decreased growth performance, neutral detergent fibre apparent digestibility, rumen contents of acetic, propionic, butyric acids and total volatile fatty acids (P < 0.05), but increased crude fat and organic matter (OM) apparent digestibilities, serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, immunoglobulin (Ig)A, IgG, IgM, rumen pH, NH3-N concentration and acetic:propionic acid ratio in lambs (P < 0.05). In the 10% TGR group, OM apparent digestibility and IgA also increased (P < 0.05), however, no negative effects on average daily weight gain, rumen pH, NH3-N, volatile fatty acids concentration and blood biochemical parameters were observed. So, it is suggested that TGR could be used as a feed source in sheep production, and 10% TGR inclusion is the most suitable dose.
We thank Research Square for preprinting this manuscript online according to the following link: https://www.researchsquare.com article/rs-60214/ v1 (Research Square doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-60214/ v1), so that we could get more comments to improve it.
The authors thank the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFD0501209-03) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 3177260).
The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
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