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Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2017;30(4): 523-530. doi: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.16.0691
Growth performance, nutrients digestibility, and blood metabolites of lambs fed diets supplemented with probiotics during pre- and post-weaning period
A. M. Saleem1,* , A. I. Zanouny2, A. M. Singer3
1Animal and Poultry Production Department, Faculty of Agriculture, South Valley University, Qena 83523, Egypt
2Animal and Poultry Production Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Minia University, Minia, Egypt
3Animal and Poultry Production and Fish Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Aswan University, Aswan, Egypt
* Corresponding Author: A. M. Saleem ,Tel: +20-103067279, Fax: +20-1145096184, Email: atefmsaleem@yahoo.com
Received: September 14, 2016;  Revised: October 17, 2016.  Accepted: December 2, 2016.  Published online December 17, 2016.

ABSTRACT
Objective:
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects on growth performance, digestibility, and blood metabolites of lambs during pre- and post-weaning period of inclusion of a commercial probiotic (PRO) containing a mixture of two strains of Pediococcus, Pediococcus acidilactici (1×106 colony-forming unit [cfu]/g) and Pediococcus pentosaceus (1.3×106 cfu/g), with dextrose as the carrier compound compared to a diet based on concentrate mixture and wheat straw.
Method:
In exp. 1, 24 male lambs of about 15±2.6 d age and initial body weight (BW) of 5.52±0.6 kg were randomly allocated into three groups. One group received control diet without additives, and remainders received control diet supplemented with 0.5 or 1 g PRO/lamb/d. Daily feed intake and biweekly BW were recorded. In exp. 2, five lambs, (initial BW = 29.72±1.15 kg, age = 6.54±0.32 mo) were used as experimental animals in a digestion trial. They were fed the same diets as in Exp. 1.
Results:
The supplementation of PRO did not result in any significant differences in milk intake, average daily gain (ADG), or total gain between treatments during the pre-weaning period. Total dry matter intake tended to be greater (p = 0.07) with addition of PRO in the post-weaning diets. During post-weaning phase, the final BW, ADG, total gain, and feed conversion ratio of the lambs receiving PRO treatments tended to be greater (p≤0.10) than the control group. Addition of PRO in post-weaning diet decreased (p≤0.01) blood urea and cholesterol concentrations. With the exception of ether extract digestibility, all nutrients digestibility were improved with inclusion PRO in the post-weaning diets.
Conclusion:
Lambs that received PRO in post-weaning diet appeared to show a better performance than lambs in pre-weaning period. Addition of the probiotic in the post-weaning diet trended towards improved dry matter intake, growth performance, feed conversion ratio, and nutrients digestibility.
Keywords: Probiotic; Growth Performance; Digestibility; Lamb
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