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Effect of bentonite and limestone on the growth rate and plasma mineral concentrations of fattening lambs

, : Effect of bentonite and limestone on the growth rate and plasma mineral concentrations of fattening lambs. Korean Journal of Animal Science 27(1): 24-28

Lambs (200) were employed to study the effects of 2% bentonite, 2% limestone, and 1% bentonite + 1% limestone on the feedlot performance of lambs rapidly switched from alfalfa hay to 8% alfalfa hay plus 92% concentrate diets. Lambs receiving 2% bentonite or 2% limestone showed a slight improvement in feedlot performance during the initial 21 days, but the benefit was not sustained in the remaining feeding period. Those fed the combination of bentonite and limestone tended to show poor weight gain and feed efficiency compared to the control group. Lambs fed 2% bentonite had higher (P < 0.01) plasma Mg concentrations at day 59. Those receiving 2% limestone had higher Na (P < 0.01) and K (P < 0.05) at day 3. Blood samples from 2% bentonite + 2% limestone-fed lambs showed higher (P < 0.01) plasma Na and K, lower (P < 0.05) PCV (packed cell volume) at day 3, and lower (P < 0.05) plasma Ca and Mg, and PCV at day 59. Increased plasma Na (P < 0.01), K (P < 0.01), K (P < 0.01), and P (P < 0.05) and decreased (P < 0.05) PCV at day 3 were obtained by feeding 1% bentonite + 1% limestone.

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