Effects of legume seeds and processing treatment on growth, carcass traits and blood constituents of fattening lambs
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of faba bean, white lupin and pea seed when fed as protein supplements on growth performance, carcass characteristics and haematological characteristics of growing lambs. Forty-eight Gentile di Puglia male lambs, weaned at 38 ± 2 days old with an average initial bodyweight of 12.8 ± 0.5 kg, were divided into six homogenous groups. The six dietary treatments were RFB (diet containing raw faba bean seeds); EFB (diet containing extruded faba bean seeds); RL (diet containing raw lupin seeds); EL (diet containing extruded lupin seeds); RP (diet containing raw pea seeds); and EP (diet containing extruded pea seeds). Feeding lupin seeds reduced average daily feed intake compared with the other protein sources. Carcass conformation, loin weight as a percentage of half-carcass weight, and fat weight as a percentage of loin weight improved in the lambs that consumed both EP and RP diets. Extrusion reduced hide weight as a percentage of empty bodyweight and fat weight as a percentage of leg weight. The protein source had a significant effect on glucose and total cholesterol concentrations, albumin, α1-globulin, β-globulin, and γ-globulin percentages and albumin-globulin ratios. The processing treatment decreased total cholesterol concentrations. Thus, feeding the various legumes did not affect growth performance, but only carcass characteristics; changes which may be due to the differences in feed intake. Extrusion also had minor effects, and further work is required to investigate the use of these protein sources, both raw and extruded.
Keywords: extrusion, faba bean, haematology, lupin, pea, protein source, slaughter data