Author(s): Stewart SR, Emerick RJ, Pritchard RH
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Abstract Ammonium chloride was added to diets varying in Ca content to evaluate its potential in preventing silica urolith formation in sheep. A 2 x 2 factorial experiment involved wether lambs with ad libitum access to a diet of 50\% grass hay and 50\% ground oats plus supplement. The basal diet contained on a DM basis 3.3\% SiO2, .31\% Ca, .22\% P, 11.6\% CP, and 26\% ADF. Treatments (38 to 39 lambs/treatment) consisted of a control (C), limestone to increase dietary calcium to .6\% (L), 1\% ammonium chloride (A), and L + A (LA). After a 118-d experimental period, siliceous kidney deposits were found only in C and L, with silica making up 93\% to 95\% of the urolithic ash. Urolith incidences were 13\% (C) and 18\% (L), respectively. The lack of urolith development in lambs fed A and LA (ammonium chloride effect, P less than .01) and a trend toward a lower urolith incidence in C vs L (P less than .02) support the hypothesis that acid-forming effects of the diet and a reduction in the dietary Ca to P ratio reduce silica urolith formation.
This article was published in J Anim Sci
and referenced in Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology