Influence of L-Carnitine on Performance and Ruminal and Blood Metabolites of Grazing Calves and Finishing Lambs
© 2002 American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists Three experiments were conducted to study the influence of level and type of L-carnitine (LC) on performance and rumiasl and plasma metabolites of weanling calves and finishing lambs. Weanling calves (84) grazing dormant dallisgrass-bermudagrass forage were fed a 20% CP supplement to provide 0, 0.5, 1, or 2 g of ruminally unprotected (RUP) LC per calf daily in Exp. 1. There was a linear increase (P=0.01) and cubic response (P=0.03) to RUP LC in growth rate and quadratic changes (P=0.01) in plasma ammonia N (PAN) and plasma urea N (PUN). In Exp. 2, 32 lambs were individually fed 14% CP diets containing 0, 50, 100, or 200 ppm RUP LC or ruminally protected (RP) LC in a 2 × 4 arrangement of treatments. Lambs gained BW faster (P=0.03) and more efficiently (P=0.07) as the LC level increased to 100 ppm and then declined at 200 ppm (quadratic response). Longissimus area decreased (P=0.03), and fat cover tended (P=0.15) to decline, at 50 and 100 ppm LC and increased at 200 ppm (linear and quadratic response). Ruminal ammonia N levels were reduced at 50 ppm LC but increased at greater LC levels (linear, quadratic, and cubic response, P=0.02). Plasma carnitine concentrations increased (P=0.01) as the dietary level of LC increased. Protected LC was more effective than RUP LC in increasing growth rate (P=0.06) and reducing PAN (P=0.1). In Exp. 3, 16 wether and 16 ewe lambs were individually fed corn-based or soybean hull-based diets with 0 or 100 ppm RP LC in a 2 × 2 arrangement of treatments. Lambs fed RP LC gained BW faster and more efficiently (P=0.04) than lambs that were not fed LC. Lambs fed corn-based and soybean hull-based diets responded similarly to RP LC; however, performance was greater (P=0.03) for lambs fed the corn-based diet. Gender of lambs did not influence the response to diet or RP LC. Supplementing the diet with 100 ppm RP LC reduced (P=0.01) ruminal pH and ammonia N. Plasma carnitine concentrations were increased (P=0.01), and PAN was decreased (P=0.04) by feeding 100 ppm RP LC. Ruminnaly unprotected and RP LC were effective in improving growth rate in ruminants; the latter appeared to be more effective in finishing lambs. L-carnitine reduced ruminal ammonia N and plasma glucose and, in some cases, PAN and PUN.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Professional Animal Scientist
White, T., Fernandez, J., Harding, G., Williams, C., Bateman, H., Bidner, T., Derouen, P., & Froetschel, M. (2002). Influence of L-Carnitine on Performance and Ruminal and Blood Metabolites of Grazing Calves and Finishing Lambs. Professional Animal Scientist, 18 (1), 59-65. https://doi.org/10.15232/S1080-7446(15)31485-6