Influence of Quaternary Benzophenantridine and Protopine Alkaloids on Growth Performance, Dietary Energy, Carcass Traits, Visceral Mass, and Rumen Health in Finishing Ewes under Conditions of Severe Temperature-humidity Index

  • Estrada-Angulo, A. (Veterinary and Animal Science School, University Autonomous of Sinaloa) ;
  • Aguilar-Hernandez, A. (Research Institute of Veterinary Sciences, University Autonomous of Baja California) ;
  • Osuna-Perez, M. (Veterinary and Animal Science School, University Autonomous of Sinaloa) ;
  • Nunez-Benitez, V.H. (Research Institute of Veterinary Sciences, University Autonomous of Baja California) ;
  • Castro-Perez, B.I. (Veterinary and Animal Science School, University Autonomous of Sinaloa) ;
  • Silva-Hidalgo, G. (Veterinary and Animal Science School, University Autonomous of Sinaloa) ;
  • Contreras-Perez, G. (Veterinary and Animal Science School, University Autonomous of Sinaloa) ;
  • Barreras, A. (Research Institute of Veterinary Sciences, University Autonomous of Baja California) ;
  • Plascencia, A. (Research Institute of Veterinary Sciences, University Autonomous of Baja California) ;
  • Zinn, R.A. (Department of Animal Science, University of California)
  • Received : 2015.04.05
  • Accepted : 2015.09.11
  • Published : 2016.05.01


Twenty $Pelibuey{\times}Katahdin$ ewes ($35{\pm}2.3kg$) were used to determine the effects of the consumption of standardized plant extract containing a mixture of quaternary benzophenanthridine alkaloids and protopine alkaloids (QBA+PA) on growth performance, dietary energetics, visceral mass, and ruminal epithelial health in heat-stressed ewes fed with a high-energy corn-based diet. The basal diet (13.9% crude protein and 2.09 Mcal of net energy [NE] of maintenance/kg of dry matter) contained 49.7% starch and 15.3% neutral detergent fiber. Source of QBA+PA was Sangrovit RS (SANG) which contains 3 g of quaternary benzophenathridine and protopine alkaloids per kg of product. Treatments consisted of a daily consumption of 0 or 0.5 g SANG/ewe. Ewes were grouped by weight and assigned to 10 pens (5 pens/treatment), with two ewes per pen. The experimental period lasted 70 days. The mean temperature humidity index during the course of this experiment was $81.7{\pm}1.0$ (severe heat stress). There were no treatment effects on water intake. Dry matter intake was not affected (p = 0.70) by treatments, but the group fed SANG had a numerically (11.2%) higher gain in comparison to the control group, SANG improved gain efficiency (8.3%, p = 0.04), dietary NE (5.2%, p<0.01) and the observed-to-expected NE (5.9%, p<0.01). Supplemental SANG did not affect ($p{\geq}0.12$) carcass characteristics, chemical composition of shoulder, and organ weights (g/kg empty body weight) of stomach complex, intestines, and heart/lung. Supplemental SANG decreased liver weight (10.3%, p = 0.02) and increased visceral fat (16.9%, p = 0.02). Rumen epithelium of ewes fed SANG had lower scores for cellular dropsical degeneration (2.08 vs 2.34, p = 0.02), parakeratosis (1.30 vs 1.82, p = 0.03) and neutrophil infiltration (2.08 vs 2.86, p = 0.05) than controls. It is concluded that SANG supplementation helped ameliorate the negative effects of severe heat on growth performance of feedlot ewes fed high-energy corn-based diets. Improvement in energetic efficiency may have been mediated, in part, by anti-inflammatory effects of supplemental SANG and corresponding enhancement of nutrient uptake.


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