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Growth of lambs offered fixed amounts of roughage and concentrate either simultaneously or sequentially

  • R. G. Wilkinson (a1) and J. F. D. Greenhalgh (a1)


Two experiments were carried out in Scotland 1984 to study the efficiency of energy utilization by Suffolk × Blackface lambs. In the first experiment, a digestibility trial, the lambs were fed three diets: roughage (R) consisting of chopped dried grass; concentrate (C) containing 700 g whole barley, 225 g ground barley and 75 g fishmeal/kg dry matter (DM); and a mixed diet (M) containing 500 g of roughage and 500 g of concentrate/kg DM. The DM and organic matter digestibility coefficients of diet M were lower than the ‘expected’ values calculated by summation of the separately determined digestibility coefficients of the component feeds. Similarly, the metabolizable energy (ME) value was 4·0% lower than expected.

In the second experiment, 40 lambs of c. 20 kg live weight (LW) were offered 50 kg roughage DM (ME 9·74 MJ/kg DM) and 50 kg concentrate DM (ME 12·21 MJ/kg DM) either as a mixture (treatment M) or sequentially (treatment S). Lambs on treatment S took 33 days longer to consume their allocation of food than those on treatment M, but achieved a similar final empty body weight and empty body composition. This contrasts with results predicted by a feeding standards model for lambs of a similar LW offered diets of the same ME content. The longer feeding period, and hence greater overall maintenance requirement, of lambs on treatment S was partly offset by associated effects causing a reduction in the total ME available to lambs on treatment M, and partly to improved efficiency of energy utilization for gain and/or a lower daily maintenance requirement of lambs on treatment S. Allowing for associated effects and the adoption of a variable maintenance requirement in current feeding standards would result in a more accurate prediction of animal performance.



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Growth of lambs offered fixed amounts of roughage and concentrate either simultaneously or sequentially

  • R. G. Wilkinson (a1) and J. F. D. Greenhalgh (a1)


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