Growth performance and health of nursing lambs supplemented with inulin and Lactobacillus casei

  • Ayala-Monter, Marco A ;
  • Hernandez-Sanchez, David ;
  • Gonzalez-Munoz, Sergio ;
  • Pinto-Ruiz, Rene ;
  • Martinez-Aispuro, Jose A ;
  • Torres-Salado, Nicolas ;
  • Herrera-Perez, Jeronimo ;
  • Gloria-Trujillo, Adrian
  • Received : 2018.08.23
  • Accepted : 2019.01.08
  • Published : 2019.08.01


Objective: This experiment was designed to evaluate the effects of Agave tequilana inulin and Lactobacillus casei (L. casei) on growth performace, hematological variables, serum metabolites, and total coliforms in nursing lambs. Methods: The experimental design was completely randomized; treatments were T1, control (pre-starter concentrate, PC), T2: T1+2% inulin, and T3: T1+2% inulin+L. casei; treatments were compared with Tukey test ($p{\leq}0.05$); and 45 new born $Kathadin{\times}Dorset lambs$ ($4.8{\pm}0.8kg$ birth weight) were the experimental units (15 per treatment). The variables were daily weight gain (DWG), dry matter intake and diarrheas incidence (%) during 56 d. Twenty-four hours after birth and at the end of the experiment, blood samples were collected to evaluate hematological variables and serum metabolites. Besides, the populations of total coliforms and lactobacilli were estimated in fecal samples. Results: Addition of agave inulin and L. casei increased ($p{\leq}0.05$) DWG 356, 384, and 415 g/d, weaning weight 24.92, 26.18, and 28.07 kg, as well as lactobacilli population 5.79, 6.32, and $6.48Log_{10}cfu/g$, for T1, T2, and T3, respectively. Lambs fed L. casei had decreased ($p{\leq}0.05$) populations of total coliforms (T1 = 6.18, T2 = 5.77, and $T3=5.07Log_{10}cfu/g$), diarrheas incidence (T1 = 11.67%, T2 = 8.33%, and T3 = 5.0%), and serum cholesterol concentration (11% in T2 and 13% in T3, compared to control). Conclusion: The combination of Agave tequilana inulin and L. casei increases weight gain and improves intestinal health by reducing coliforms and diarrheas incidence in $Katahdin{\times}Dorset$ lambs during the pre-weaning period.


Lambs;Agave tequilana;Inulin;Total Coliforms;Lactobacilli;Intestinal Health


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Supported by : National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACyT)