Effects of Prosopis laevigata pods on growth performance, ruminal fermentation and blood metabolites in finishing lambs
Twenty-one non-castrated male Rambouillet lambs (21±1.44 kg body weight) were used to evaluate the effects of increasing dietary levels of Prosopis laevigata pods (PLP) in a 72 d growth performance trial. Three dietary treatments defined as PLP0 (control, 0 g PLP/kg DM), PLP250 (250 g PLP/kg DM), and PLP500 (500 g PLP/kg DM) were evaluated. Animals fed PLP250 and PLP500 had higher daily weight gain (P<0.05) and feed intake (P<0.01) than lambs fed PLP0. Feed conversion was improved by PLP addition in the diets. Feeding cost decreased linearly as the level of PLP in the diet increased. Blood urea-N concentration increased linearly as PLP increased in the diet. Lambs fed PLP500 had higher (P<0.05) blood uric acid concentrations than lambs fed PLP0 and PLP250. Ruminal total volatile fatty acid (VFA) increased linearly with increasing dietary PLP. Lambs fed PLP250 and PLP500 had higher ruminal ammonia N concentrations (P<0.05) than lambs fed PLP0. Dietary inclusion of PLP did not affect health status of lambs. Prosopis laevigata pods can be used safely in finishing lambs’ diets at 500 g/kg.
Keywords: carcass, feed cost, performance