R. Bras. Zootec.. 01/Jun/2017;46(6):521-6.
Effects of increasing dietary concentrations of fish oil on lamb performance, ruminal fermentation, and leptin gene expression in perirenal fat
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of four levels of fish oil on lamb performance, carcass yield, ruminal fermentation, and leptin gene expression in perirenal fat. Thirty-two lambs (24.10±2.15 kg, Katahdin × Pelibuey) were used in a completely randomized experimental design. The lambs were assigned to one of four dietary treatments (n = 8 lambs/treatment), expressed as g/kg DM basis: 0 fish oil and 300 corn; 10 fish oil and 250 corn; 20 fish oil and 205 corn; and 30 fish oil and 170 corn. The lambs were weighed on consecutive days at the beginning (days 0 and 1) and at the end (days 55 and 56) of the trial. Ruminal fluid samples were collected on day 56 to evaluate the ruminal fermentation pattern. The lambs were slaughtered on day 56; perirenal adipose tissue samples were collected and the carcass yields were recorded. Volatile fatty acids, ammonia N, and leptin mRNA expression were not affected by the dietary treatments. However, the dry matter intake, average daily gain, final body weight, and the hot carcass yield showed either increased linear or quadratic responses as the proportion of fish oil increased in the ration; the estimated optimal level obtained of fish oil levels for average daily gain was 11.2±0.21 g/kg and 12.8±4.67 g/kg for feed conversion. Additionally, feed efficiency and backfat thickness had an increment, showing quadratic response as the proportion of fish oil increased in the diet. Increasing the fish oil concentration in the diet does not affect leptin messenger ribonucleic acid expression. The lamb performance can be improved with 12 g/kg fish oil in diets of finishing lambs.