The effect of dietary water soluble carbohydrate to nitrogen ratio on nitrogen partitioning and isotopic fractionation of lactating goats offered a high-nitrogen diet
The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between nitrogen (N) partitioning and isotopic fractionation in lactating goats consuming diets with a constant high concentration of N and increasing levels of water soluble carbohydrate (WSC). Eight lactating goats were offered four different ratios of WSC : N in the diet. A two-period incomplete cross-over design was used, with two goats assigned to each treatment in each period. N balance measurements were conducted, with
... nducted, with measurement of feed N intake and total output of N in milk, faeces and urine. Treatment, period and infusion effects were tested using general ANOVA; the relationships between variables were analysed by linear regression. Dietary treatment and period had significant effects on dry matter (DM) intake (g/day). DM digestibility (g/kg DM) and N digestibility (g/kg N) increased as the ratio of WSC : N increased in the diet. No treatment effect was observed on milk urea N concentration (g/l) or urinary excretion of purine derivatives (mM/day). Although dietary treatment and period had significant effects on N intake, the change of N intake was small; no effect was observed for N partitioning among faeces, milk and urine. Milk, plasma and faeces were enriched in15N compared with feed, whilst urine was depleted in15N relative to feed. No significant relationship was established between N partitioning and isotopic fractionation. This study failed to confirm the potential to use N isotopic fractionation as an indicator of N partitioning in dairy goats when diets provided N in excess to requirements, most likely because the range of milk N output/N intake and urinary N output/N intake were narrow.