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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Booneville, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #309765

Research Project: Sustainable Small Farm and Organic Production Systems for Livestock and Agroforestry

Location: Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center

Title: Changes in hematology and serum biochemical profiles in lambs fed sericea lespedeza

Author
item MOHAN, ACHARYA - University Of Arkansas
item Burke, Joan
item COFFEY, KEN - University Of Arkansas
item KEGLEY, ELIZABETH - University Of Arkansas
item MILLER, JAMES - Louisiana State University
item Huff, Geraldine
item Wood, Erin
item TERRILL, THOMAS - Fort Valley State University
item ROSENKRANS, CHARLES - University Of Arkansas

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2015
Publication Date: 5/1/2015
Citation: Mohan, A., Burke, J.M., Coffey, K., Kegley, E., Miller, J., Huff, G.R., Smyth, E.L., Terrill, T., Rosenkrans, C. 2015. Changes in hematology and serum biochemical profiles in lambs fed sericea lespedeza. Journal of Animal Science. 93(4):1952-1961.

Interpretive Summary: Sericea lespedeza (SL) is a legume rich in condensed tannins (CT) that can be grazed or fed to small ruminants for parasite control of economic importance. Condensed tannins, a secondary plant compound in SL, may lead to unintended consequences such as changes in production. Scientists at ARS in Booneville and Fayetteville, AR, the University of Arkansas, Louisiana State University and Fort Valley University determined that there were significant differences in red and white blood cells and dietary protein utilization between control and SL fed lambs. However, many of these differences were physiologically minimal, suggesting that feeding SL for the control of parasites or as a nutritional supplement will not cause harm to the animal. The results are important to farmers and extension specialists to build strategies to aid in the control of parasites of small ruminants, and scientists aiming to understand the effects of CT on the animal.

Technical Abstract: Sericea lespedeza (SL; Lespedeza cuneata) is a legume rich in condensed tannins (CT) that can be grazed or fed to small ruminants for parasite control. Condensed tannins a secondary plant compound in SL may lead to unintended consequences such as changes in production. In our preliminary research, there was consistently a reduction in serum and liver concentrations of molybdenum (Mo). The objective of this study was to determine the effect of SL with or without Mo supplementation on changes in BW, hematology, and serum biochemistry in lambs. Thirty ram lambs weaned in May (84 +/1 1.5 d of age; 27 +/- 1.1 kg) were blocked by BW, breed type (full or 3/4 Katahdin), and estimated breeding value of parasite resistance, and randomly assigned to be fed 900 g of alfalfa based supplement (CON; n = 10) or SL based supplement (n = 20) for 103 d. Supplements were formulated to be isonitrogenous, isocaloric, and to meet trace mineral requirements. Within the SL diet, half of the lambs received 490 mg sodium molybdate weekly (SLMO). Body condition scores (BCS) and BW were determined every 14 d and blood collected to determine hematological and serum biochemical profiles. Data were analyzed using a mixed model with repeated measures. The white blood counts tended to be reduced in SL and SLMO compared with CON fed lambs (P < 0.06), which was associated with a reduction in neutrophils (P < 0.001). Red blood cell counts were greater (P < 0.04) in CON than SL lambs. There was a reduction in serum concentrations of albumin (P < 0.001) and creatinine (P < 0.02) in both SL and SLMO compared with CON lambs. Similarly, concentrations of BUN were reduced in both SL and SLMO, but differences among dietary treatments disappeared after 42 d of feeding (treatment × day, P < 0.004). Serum concentrations of total proteins were reduced only in SLMO compared with other lambs (P < 0.001). Body weight was similar among dietary treatments. Means of all measurements were within a normal range, even though there were subtle but significant differences between dietary groups. Feeding a diet high in condensed tannin rich SL did not lead to serious effects on hematology or serum biochemistry in lambs.