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Growth Performances and Carcass Characteristics of Indigenous Lambs Fed Halophyte Sporobolus virginicus Grass Hay

The objective of the present study was to compare feed and water intakes, growth performance and carcass characteristics of indigenous lamb fed diets containing various levels of halophyte Sporobolus grass hay. Forty male and female lambs were randomly and equally allotted with 5 lambs of each sex per treatment to four dietary treatment groups, which were initially formulated to have 100, 70, 30 or 0.0% Sporobolus grass hay, as a source of forage replacement for conventional Rhodes grass commonly used in the region. The lambs receiving 0.0% Sporobolus grass hay (100% Rhodes grass hay) served as the control. Feed and water were offered ad libitum. Male lambs were slaughtered at the end of the feeding trials. The average daily feed intake was significantly (p<0.05) higher for the animals fed different levels of Sporobolus grass hay than for the control animals. Feed conversion ratio (FCR), i.e., kg feed/kg BW, was similar in all treatment groups. Although lambs fed the diet with 70% Sporobolus grass hay had heavier carcass weights, the differences were not significant. In conclusion, growth performance or carcass characteristics of fattening indigenous lambs were not influenced by the inclusion of different levels of Sporobolus grass hay in the diet. Because of this, Sporobolus grass hay represents an alternative forage resource for sustaining small ruminant production in the saline coastal and subcoastal areas of the world. (Key Words : Halophyte, Sporobolus Grass, Indigenous Lambs, Growth Performance, Carcass Characteristics)

S. A. Al-Shorepy, G. A. Alhadrami and A. J. Al-Dakheel
Publication type: 
Scientific Paper
Publication Source: 
Asian-Australian Journal on Animal Science
Page Number: 
556 - 562

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