Influence of the novel urease inhibitor N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide on ruminant nitrogen metabolism: II. Ruminal nitrogen metabolism, diet digestibility, and nitrogen balance in lambs

P. A. Ludden, D. L. Harmon, G. B. Huntington, B. T. Larson, D. E. Axe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three lamb metabolism experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of chronic administration of the novel urease inhibitor N (n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT) on ruminal N metabolism, fermentation, and N balance. In Exp. 1, ruminally cannulated wethers (n = 28; 45.0 ± .9 kg) were administered one of seven doses of NBPT (0 [control], .125, .25, .5, 1, 2, or 4 g of NBPT daily) and fed a common cracked corn/cottonseed hull-based diet twice daily containing 2% urea at 2.5% of initial BW for the duration of the 15-d experiment. Overall, NBPT decreased (linear P < .0001; quadratic P < .001) ruminal urease activity, resulting in linear increases (P < .0001) in ruminal urea and decreases in ruminal NH3 N concentrations. However, the detection of an NBPT x day interaction (d 2 vs 15; P < .01) indicated that this depression in urea degradation diminished as the experiment progressed. Increasing NBPT linearly decreased (P < .01) total VFA concentrations on d 2 of the experiment, but it had no effect (P > .10) on d 15. Increasing NBPT had no effect (P > .10) on DM or ADF digestibilities, but it linearly decreased (P < .01) N digestibility. Supplementing NBPT produced a linear increase (P < .05) in urinary N excretion and a linear decrease (P < .01) in N retention. In Exp. 2, ruminally cannulated wethers (n = 30; 46.8 ± .6 kg) were fed one of two basal diets (2.0 vs 1.1% dietary urea) at 2.5% of initial BW and dosed with either 0 (control), .25, or 2 g of NBPT daily for the duration of the 15-d experiment. There were no NBPT x dietary urea interactions (P > .10) for Exp. 2. Increasing NBPT depressed (linear and quadratic P < .0001) ruminal urease activity, producing linear (P < .0001) increases in urea N and linear decreases in NH3 N in the rumen. As in Exp. 1, an NBPT x day interaction (P < .05) was noted for urea, NH3 N, and total VFA concentrations; the maximum response to NBPT occurred on d 2 but diminished by d 15 of the experiment. Administration of NBPT did not influence (P > .10) DM, ADF, or N digestibilities in Exp. 2. In Exp. 3, wether lambs (n = 30; 26.4 ± .7 kg) were subjected to the same treatment regimen as in Exp. 2 for a 14-d N balance experiment. Although several NBPT x dietary urea interactions (P < .05) were noted, increasing NBPT did not affect (P > .10) N digestibility. Administration of NBPT quadratically increased (P < .10) urinary N excretion, producing a linear decrease (P < .05) in N retention. These results suggest that although NBPT is capable of inhibiting ruminal urease short-term, the ruminal microflora may be capable of adapting to chronic NBPT administration, thereby limiting its practical use in improving the utilization of dietary urea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-198
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume78
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2000

Keywords

  • Nitrogen balance
  • Sheep
  • Urea
  • Urease inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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