The relationship between the fatty acid (FA) profile of cecotrophs and that of the milk fat was evaluated in nine multiparous New Zealand does during the first 12 days of lactation. Milk samples were obtained manually on days 6, 8, 10, and 12 postpartum and cecotrophs and feces were collected on days 7, 9, and 11 postpartum. The FA profiles of feed, milk, cecotrophs, and feces were determined using gas chromatography. The principal FA found in rabbits’ milk were 8:0, 10:0, 16:0, 18:1 cis-9, and 18:2 n-6. Bacteria-derived FA found in the milk fat included branched FA from 14 to 16 carbons, and 18:1 trans. Two isomers of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) were also present, namely cis-9,trans-11 (0.09 ± 0.006 mol%) and trans-10,cis-12 (0.06 ± 0.01 mol%). The content of total FA in the cecotrophs was the 1.10 ± 0.08 mg/100 mg freeze-dried sample, with 2.50 ± 0.83 mol% 18:1 trans-11. Significant correlations between cecotroph and milk FA profiles were found for numerous FA, and those with correlation coefficients greater than 0.90 were 12:0, 14:0, 15:0, 16:0, 18:0, 18:1 trans-6/8, 18:1 trans-9, 18:1 cis-9, 18:2 n-6, 18:3 n-3, 20:1 cis-9, 20:2 n-6, and 22:0. Cecum biohydrogenation processes were evident based on the greater content of saturated FA (p = 0.008) found (54.46 ± 4.37 mol%) in the cecotrophs relative to that in feces (43.08 ± 4.37 mol%). Under conditions of the present study, the milk FA profile was influenced by the FA profile of diet and the cecotrophs consumed by lactating does.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry
- Cell Biology