Physiological effects of feeding high levels of magnesium to sheep.

Hugh Chester-Jones, J. P. Fontenot, H. P. Veit, K. E. Webb

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26 Scopus citations


The effects of feeding high levels of Mg to sheep on animal health, nutrient digestibility, metabolism of macro-minerals, blood and tissue mineral concentrations and hematological and histological tissue changes were evaluated. Six lambs were allotted to each of four diets supplemented with MgO to attain .2, .6, 1.2 or 2.4% Mg. Total fecal and urinary collections were made for the initial 20 d and last 10 d of a 50 d study. Diarrhea was noted in lambs fed the two highest Mg levels. Apparent digestibility of DM, ADF and CP decreased linearly (P less than .01) with increasing Mg levels. Dietary Mg levels did not affect (P greater than .05) rectal temperature, respiration rate or pulse rate. Apparent absorption and retention of Mg (g/d) were lowest in lambs fed 2.4% Mg until 15 d on trial, after which values increased linearly (P less than .01) with dietary Mg. Phosphorus absorption and retention decreased linearly (P less than .01) with increasing Mg levels. Increasing dietary Mg resulted in a linear increase (P less than .01) in serum Mg and variable increases (P less than .05) in erythrocyte Mg. Serum Ca was decreased linearly (P less than .05) and quadratically (P less than .05) by added Mg during the d 1 to 30 and 40 to 50 periods, respectively. Serum inorganic P was elevated consistently in lambs fed 2.4% Mg. A linear response to increasing dietary Mg (P less than .05) occurred in the Mg content of liver, kidney, rib bone and femur bone. Dietary Mg did not alter (P greater than .05) other criteria.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1070-1081
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1989


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