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Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals

Effects of defaunation of the rumen and supplementation with amino acids on the wool production of housed Saxon Merinos. 4. Cottonseed meal, analogues of methionine and avoparcin

DJ Cottle

Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 28(6) 707 - 711
Published: 1988


Ten groups, each of 6 superfine Merino wethers were individually penned indoors and hand-fed at maintenance level a ration of 70% oats and 30% chopped lucerne hay (w/w). The groups of sheep were fed 3 different supplementary pellets rotationally during three 9-week periods. Each group received 3 of the following 7 pellets: (1) control, (2) cottonseed meal (CSM), (3) CSM plus hydroxymethyl-methionine (MEP), (4) CSM plus methionine hydroxy analogue (MHA), (5) CSM plus avoparcin (AV), (6) CSM plus MEP plus AV, and (7) CSM plus MHA plus AV. The rations were offered 3 times a week. Half of the sheep had no rumen ciliate protozoa. Wool production was measured during the 7-month period. Defaunation resulted in a 6.9% increase in greasy fleece weight and a 7.7% increase in clean wool production. Average wool fibre diameter increased by 0.6 pm in defaunated sheep. The clean wool growth responses compared with sheep fed the control pellets were 4, 5, 12, 0, 3 and 9% respectively for sheep fed pellets 2-7. The most cost-effective supplement was the CSM plus MHA pellet, which increased clean wool production by 0.5 glday compared with sheep fed the CSM pellet but did not significantly affect wool quality. It was concluded that supplements containing MHA could be economically fed to housed superfine Merino wethers ('Sharlea'), but MHA appears to be relatively inefficient in supplying methionine to the intestines.

© CSIRO 1988

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