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Effect of ruminally protected methionine on body weight gain and growth of antlers in red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the humid tropics

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Sixteen male red deer (Cervus elaphus), with an initial weight of 93.83 ± 4.38 kg were used to study the effect of the dietary level of ruminally protected methionine (RPM) on growth, antler morphometry and serum metabolites. The deer were allowed to graze and were individually supplemented with concentrate to provide 0, 2.5, 3.5 or 4.5 g/day of RPM for 65 days. There was a quadratic effect on daily weight gain (0.163, 0.098, 0.147 and 0.172 kg/day; P < 0.005) and antler beam length (59.7, 63.6, 63.0 and 57.2 cm; P < 0.02) for RPM levels of 0 to 4.5 g/day, respectively. The brow tine length and the number of points were similar across all treatments. Serum glutamic pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) was reduced (quadratic effect; P < 0.02; 22.0, 29.6, 18.0 and 17.8 IU/l) to RPM levels of 0 to 4.5 g/day, respectively, whereas other metabolites (glucose, cholesterol, urea, creatinine, total protein and serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase [SGOT]) were unchanged. Increasing the RPM dose did not affect weight gain or antler growth. Methionine supplementation reduced the activity of SGPT.

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We sincerely thank the director and the technical staff of the Centro de Desarrollo Tecnológico de FIRA, Tantakin. We also thank Degussa-Hülls Mexico for the donation of the amino acid for this study. This experiment was sponsored in part by research line 11 from the Colegio de Postgraduados. We also extend our thanks also to Juan A. Rivera-Lorca and Laura Ramírez-Cancino for their support as we conducted this experiment.

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Correspondence to Germán David Mendoza-Martínez.

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Mendoza-Nazar, P., Mendoza-Martínez, G.D., Herrera-Haro, J. et al. Effect of ruminally protected methionine on body weight gain and growth of antlers in red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the humid tropics. Trop Anim Health Prod 44, 681–684 (2012).

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  • Cervus elaphus
  • Red deer
  • Methionine
  • Antler
  • Gain