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Effect of concentrate percentage on ruminal pH and time-budget in dairy goats

  • M. Desnoyers (a1), C. Duvaux-Ponter (a1), K. Rigalma (a1), S. Roussel (a1), O. Martin (a1) and S. Giger-Reverdin (a1)...


The aim of this study was to compare rumen pH and time-budget in eight mid-lactation goats receiving two diets in a cross-over design (low-concentrate diet (L): 30% and high-concentrate diet (H): 60% concentrate). Feeding H increased daily intake (4.3 ± 0.08% v. 4.7 ± 0.08% of body weight for L and H, respectively) and daily milk production (3.01 ± 0.130 v. 3.50 ± 0.130 kg/day of 3.5% fat-corrected milk for L and H, respectively). It decreased milk fat and inverted the fat-to-protein ratio (1.07 ± 0.054 v. 0.94 ± 0.054 for L and H, respectively). As suggested by the percentage of time spent with rumen pH below 6.0 (23.4 ± 6.60% v. 39.9 ± 5.88% for L and H, respectively), H was more acidogenic than L. When offered H instead of L, goats spent less time eating (298 ± 17.5 v. 265 ± 17.5 min for L and H, respectively) and ruminating (521 ± 21.0 v. 421 ± 21.0 min for L and H, respectively) but more time resting (352 ± 27.1 v. 459 ± 21.1 min for L and H, respectively) over a 24-h period. They also tended to spend more time drinking (20 ± 2.9 v. 25 ± 2.9 min for L and H, respectively; P = 0.08) when offered H rather than L. These differences in activities were mainly observed during the first hours following feeding. When offered H, goats adapted their feeding behaviour around the feedings, which allowed them to limit the physiological disturbances potentially inducible by H and to increase milk production, without experiencing too much acidosis.


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