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Nitrogen metabolism, digestive parameters, and protein requirements for the maintenance of buffalo growth


The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of crude protein (CP) levels in the diet of growing female buffaloes on nitrogen metabolism and estimate protein requirements for maintenance. Four female buffaloes were used, cannulated in the rumen, with an average initial body weight (BW) of 355 ± 3.5 kg, in a Latin square (4 × 4) with four animals and four levels of CP in the diet (70, 90, 110, and 130 g/kg dry matter (DM)) composed of corn silage and concentrate. The increase in protein intake with increasing levels of dietary CP resulted in a higher concentration of ammonia in the rumen and higher ruminal disappearance of PB. However, omasal flow of protein increased linearly as did the efficiency of microbial protein synthesis. The CP levels affected DM intake and other nutrients positively, but there was no effect on nutrient total digestibility. Nitrogen (N) balance, when expressed relative to N intake, had an average value of 48.5 % observed across. The protein requirement for the maintenance of growing female buffaloes was 4.6 g CP/kg BW0.75.

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The authors are grateful to the Brazilian Research Council (CNPq) for the grants conceded to the research.

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Correspondence to Erica Machado.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Statement of animal rights

The experimental protocols that were developed in this study fully complied with the ethical principles of animal experimentation prepared by the Brazilian College of Animal Experimentation - COBEA and were referred to the Ethics Committee on Animal Use in Experimentation, State University of Maringa, for consideration under the number approval 009/2013.

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Machado, E., Yoshimura, E.H., Santos, N.W. et al. Nitrogen metabolism, digestive parameters, and protein requirements for the maintenance of buffalo growth. Trop Anim Health Prod 48, 361–366 (2016).

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  • Microbial synthesis
  • Nitrogen retention
  • Protein omasal flow
  • Ruminal digestibility