The Effects Of Intraruminal Infusions Of Sodium Bicarbonate, Ammonium Chloride And Sodium Butyrate On Urea Metabolism In Sheep
1. Three sheep fitted with rumen cannulas were fed hourly a daily ration of 1000 g pelleted-grass cubes, and during four successive 2-week periods were intraruminally infused (0·45 l/d) with solutions containing sodium chloride (0·47 mol/d), sodium bicarbonate (0·47 mol/d), ammonium chloride (0·47 mol/d) and sodium butyrate (0·47 mol/d). Each solution, except that for NaHCO3, was adjusted to pH 7 before infusion, and provided equal sodium intakes for sheep in all periods.
2. In the final week of each infusion period, a balance trial was conducted and on separate days each sheep was continuously infused with [14C]urea and NaH14CO3 intravenously and NaH14CO3 intraruminally. Carbon transfer rates between blood urea, blood bicarbonate and rumen fluid bicarbonate were calculated from the specific radioactivity of urea and bicarbonate samples and isotope infusion rates during each experimental period.
3. There was no significant effect of intraruminal infusions on N balance, and with the exception of sheep in fused with NH4Cl, all sheep utilized apparently digested N with similar efficiency for N retention. Sheep infused with NH4Cl (6·2 g N/d) excreted the equivalent of 93% of the infused N as urea in urine.
4. Infusion of NaHCO3. NH4Cl and sodium butyrate significantly (
5. Intraruminal infusions of NH4Cl significantly (
6. The mechanism by which urea entry into the rumen is regulated by rumen metabolite levels is discussed.