Ingestive behaviour and performance of feedlot lambs fed saccharine sorghum and corn silages
This study evaluated the ingestive behaviour and performance of feedlot lambs fed saccharine sorghum and corn silages. Ten animals were randomly selected from a group of 32 uncastrated male Suffolk lambs. The four treatments consisted of diets with 50% of silage made from forage sorghum (BD 1615), two varieties of saccharine sorghum (BRS 506 and BRS 511), and corn (BRS 2223). Ingestive behaviour was observed by a scan sampling method using seven strategically positioned video cameras so as not to interfere with the usual animal behaviour. The animals were observed for three 48-hour periods at 15-day intervals, with a total of 144 hours of observation. Video recordings were then examined to identify the time spent in ruminating, eating, drinking water and idling. Times spent feeding or drinking water were not significantly affected by the treatments. Animals fed forage sorghum silage had higher neutral detergent fibre (NDF) intake (0.41 kg of NDF), thus spent more time ruminating (342 min/day). Rumination time was similar for the BD 1615 and BRS 506 silages and was 85 min/day greater than for the BRS 511 and BRS 2223 silages, which were similar. Average daily gain was greater for BRS 2223 (275 g/day) than for BRS 506 and BRS 511 silages, which were similar (196 g/day). Ingestive behaviour for BRS 511 was similar to that observed for BRS 2223. Ingestive behaviour for BRS 506 was similar to that observed for BD 1615. Average daily gain was related to intake and ruminating efficiency.
Keywords: eating, idling, roughage, rumination, sheep (Ovis aires)