Two in vitro and in vivo experiments were accomplished to investigate the impacts of integrated feed additives (IFA, combination of protected fat, lysine, and methionine plus yucca extract, eucalyptus essential oil, and direct-fed microbial) on gas production (GP), ruminal fermentation and degradability parameters and lamb performance, digestibility, and nitrogen balance. In the in vitro experiment, responses of graded doses (0, 25, 50, 75, 100, and 125 g IFA/kg DM) were evaluated. In the in vivo experiment, 15 Barki male lambs (30.43 ± 0.74 kg BW ± SE) were individually allotted in complete randomized design into three treatments (five animal/treatment) as control (basal diet without additive), low dose (50 g/kg DM) and high dose (100 g/kg DM) for 120 days. In vitro results showed that both doses (100 and 125 g/kg DM) quadratically decreased (p < 0.001) GP and ammonia nitrogen (NH-3N) concentration. In vivo experiment revealed that dry matter intake was increased (p = 0.016) with low dose compared to high dose. Inclusion of high dose decreased blood serum glucose concentrations (p > 0.05) and ruminal protozoal populations (p = 0.094) compared with low dose and control diet. Both doses of IFA increased (p < 0.05) serum urea, creatinine, and triglyceride concentrations, while decreased (p < 0.001) ruminal NH3-N concentrations. These results suggested that, although IFA was effective to modify in vitro ruminal fermentation process and feed degradability, such aspects did not improve in vivo performance of growing lambs.
Keywords: Feed additives; nitrogen utilization; nutrients digestibility; rumen characteristics; sheep performance.