Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 43, Number 6, November-December 2003
Page(s) 557 - 566
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 43 (2003) 557-566
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2004008

Influence of rumen protein degradability on productive and reproductive performance in buffalo cows

Giuseppe Campanilea, Rossella Di Paloa, Federico Infascellia, Bianca Gasparrinia, Gianluca Negliaa, Fabio Zicarellia and Michael J. D'Occhiob

a  Dipartimento di Scienze Zootecniche e Ispezione degli Alimenti, Sezione B. Ferrara, Università di Napoli Federico II, Via F. Delpino, 1, 80137 Napoli, Italy
b  Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science University of Queensland, Gatton Campus, Australia

Received 30 January 2003; accepted 30 September 2003

Abstract - The present study aimed to ascertain the influence of crude protein (CP) digestibility in the rumen on the quantity and quality of milk production and reproductive performance, blood (BU) and milk (MU) urea, haematological profile and vaginal mucus urea, ammonia and potassium of buffalo cows. Lactating buffaloes ( n = 84), 60 days inmilk, were randomly subdivided into Group C (control, n = 42) and Group T (fed a diet supplemented with Aspergillus oryzae, n = 42). In three fistulated buffalo, the diet supplemented with Aspergillus oryzae showed a decrease ( P < 0.01) in protein digestibility in the rumen (79.3 vs. 45.9%). No differences were registered in productive performance. Nine buffaloes not in oestrus during the dietary treatment (Groups T1 and C1), 30 days in milk, were used to study the haematological profile and to determine milk urea and ammonia in the vaginal mucus. The animals in Group T1 had higher ammonia values in the blood ( P < 0.01) but not in the vaginal mucus than Group C1. A relationship was found between MU and BU. MU was influenced by CP intake and dry matter intake. No differences between the treatments were observed in reproductive performance and the conception rate and calving interval were 37.9% and 41.4% (90 trial-day) and 449 and 419 days respectively in Groups T and C. Reproductive performance was not influenced by high levels of BU nor by blood ammonia levels, although the latter were higher in the group fed the diet supplemented with Aspergillus oryzae.

Key words: buffalo cow / protein digestibility in the rumen / blood / milk / vaginal mucus

Corresponding author: Giuseppe Campanile

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2003