Influence of varying levels of ammonium chloride on urine pH and specific gravity, overall feed conversion, and water consumption in mature wether goats.
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of orally administered ammonium chloride (NH4CL) on pH and specific gravity of urine, overall gain, and water consumption in mature wethers on a grower/finisher ration. Obstructive urolithiasis, or urinary calculi, is a common problem in sheep and goat production systems utilizing a high grain diet, particularly one high in magnesium. Maintaining animals on a 70 to 90% concentrate ration is most conducive to the formation of urinary calculi. Boer cross wethers (n = 24) were stratified by body weight and randomly assigned within strata to one of three treatment groups. Wethers were placed on a common diet containing 2% NH4Cl during the three week collection period. Treatment consisted of daily oral dosages of 0g NH4CL (CON), 5.85 g NH4CL (TRT 1), or 13.8g NH4CL (TRT 2). Urine collected from TRT2 tested more acidic on the second and fourth collections before coming back linear constant with both the control (CON) and TRT1 . There was no effect of treatment (P < 0.001) on specific gravity of urine. Weight gain was greater (P < 0.01) in TRT1 (4.15 kg) and TRT2 (4.48 kg) as compared to CON wethers (2.95 kg). Water consumption was the most variable of all investigated objectives; all groups began with a linear increase for the first 4 d. Treatment 2 (P < 0.001) then showed significant increase at collections 2 and 4. Treatment 1 stayed more linear with the control with minimal increases (P < 0.001) occurring at periods of more acidic urine. This study indicates that administration of NA4Cl had minimal effect on urine pH, water consumption, and overall gain, but no effect on specific gravity.
Kennedy, Matthew joseph (2008). Influence of varying levels of ammonium chloride on urine pH and specific gravity, overall feed conversion, and water consumption in mature wether goats.. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from