Six lactating abomasally cannulated ewes were subjected to a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp with or without casein supplementation in a two period crossover design experiment. There was a significant response in milk (1169 ± 46 g/d vs 952 ± 46 g/d, P<0.001) and milk protein (66.4 g/d ± 2.7 g/d vs 54.2 g/d ± 2.7 g/d P<0.006), yield from casein supplemented ewes. There was no overall effect of the clamp on milk and milk protein yield, while the interaction was also non-significant. However, there was a significant reduction in feed intake (P<0.001) as the clamp continued, which may have compromised milk and milk protein response. There was also a significant period effect across all the measured parameters, which could also be a stage of lactation effect, due to the rapid decline of milk production during ewe lactation. In this study, in contrast to concentrate-fed cows, the utilisation of this technique did not increase milk protein yield in pasture fed lactating ewes.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 58, , 205-208, 1998
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