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High salt inclusion reduces concentrate intake without major effects on renal function in young bulls
Álvarez Rodríguez, Javier; Villalba Mata, Daniel; Sanz Pascua, Albina; Casasús Pueyo, Isabel; Blanco Alibes, Mireia
Beef producers prefer to feed concentrates on an ad libitum basis to increase the flexibility of their work. Including salt, which is a self-limiting supplement, could control or reduce concentrate intake without increasing the workforce. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of including 10%NaCl in the concentrate on intake, growth, blood ions (sodium, potassium and chlorine), renal function (through creatinine and urea concentrations in blood), and daytime behaviour of bulls over 6 weeks. Bulls consuming the control concentrate (Control bulls) had greater weight gain (P<0.05) and concentrate intake (P<0.001) than those consuming the concentrate with 10%NaCl (10%NaCl bulls). Lower plasma sodium concentration was found in Control bulls after 6 weeks (P<0.05), while potassium concentration was lower after 4 (P<0.05) and 6 weeks (P<0.01). Blood urea did not differ between the groups, and creatinine only differed at week 4 (P<0.01). Control bulls spent less time eating hay (P<0.001) and more time idling (P<0.01) during daylight hours. In conclusion, the inclusion of 10%NaCl in the concentrate for short periods could be used to reduce concentrate intake without major effects on renal function; however, a concomitant decrease in weight gain should be expected.
cc-by-nc (c) Blanco Alibes, Mireia et al., 2014

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