The Effect of Different Inclusion Levels of a Commercial Concentrate On the Growth Performance of Weaned Lambs
Andell Edwards, Amellia Taylor, Tunika Brewster

This experiment was undertaken to investigate the effect of different inclusion levels of a commercial concentrate on average daily gain, feed conversion efficiency, feed intake, final weight gained, feed cost/lb gain and the dressing percentage of weaned lambs. Twenty one, clinically healthy Barbados black belly weaned ewe (average weight 15 - 19± 0.4 kg.) were used. They were randomly allocated to three treatments during a period of 70 days. Treatment (1): inclusion at 2% body weight, Treatment (2): Inclusion at 2.5% body weight and Treatment (3): Inclusion at 3% body weight. Water was provided ad libitum. Feed intake was highest (p<0.05) among lambs supplemented with concentrates at 3 % (5.85 kg) of their body weight. Average daily gain (ADG) was highest (p<0.05) among ewes supplemented at 3 % (0.70 kg) of their body weight. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) was significantly lower among animals supplemented at 2 % (7.52 kg) when compared to animals supplemented at 2.5 % (8.50 kg) and 3 % (8.28 kg) of their body weight respectively. Weight gain was significantly higher (p<0.05) among ewes supplemented at 3 % body weight in comparison to ewes supplemented at 2 % (14.4 kg) and 2.5 % (16.3 kg) respectively. Ewes supplemented at 3 % of their body had a lower (p<0.05) feed cost per pound of gain ($7.71) when compared to those supplemented at 2.5 % ($ 9.52). Dressing percentage was also lowest (p<0.05) among ewes supplemented at 3 % of their body weight (42.9 %) when compared to ewes supplemented at 2 % (46 %) and 2.5 % (45.7 %) respectively. It was concluded that a higher concentrate inclusion level could positively influence the performance parameters and cost/pound of gain in weaned lambs fed poor quality forages.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jaes.v10n1a7