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Finishing of store lambs on silage-based diets. 5. Effect of supplementing silage with barley, pelleted dried grass or molasses/soyabean meal on silage intake and lamb performance



Finishing of store lambs on silage-based diets. 5. Effect of supplementing silage with barley, pelleted dried grass or molasses/soyabean meal on silage intake and lamb performance



Irish Journal of Agricultural Research 26(2/3): 153-164



A well-preserved silage was fed ad libitum to Galway store lambs (39 kg liveweight) either alone or supplemented at two levels i.e. 250 or 500 g DM/lamb/day with either barley, pelleted dried grass or a molasses/soybean meal supplement over 12 weeks. The lambs were divided into 4 groups of 6 lambs/diet. The supplements were given in one feed per day on top of the silage. Silage intake, which was quite low when fed alone (482 g DM/day), was not affected by barley or molasses supplementation but was increased by 9-14% when supplemented with dried grass. Supplementation increased total DM intke (53-120%), metabolisable energy (ME) intake (61-126%) and improved lamb performance. When fed at the low level all three supplements produced similar lamb weight gains with a response of 37.5 g liveweight gain/100 g DM of supplement. About 20% of the molasses supplement, when fed at the high level was present in the feed residue and not consumed. When fed at the higher level liveweight gain was better for the dried grass than for the molasses/soybean supplement, while barley was intermediate. However, empty body weight gains and carcass gains were similar for the three supplements. Liveweight gain over-estimated empty body weight gain due to the large increase in gut fill on the diets, which represented 35-67% of the liveweight gain. Carcass gain represented only 28-47% of liveweight gain, compared with 70-100% of the gain in empty body weight. Carcass gain represented a lower proportion of both liveweight gain and empty body weight gain on the dried grass diet than on the other diets. When averaged over both levels of supplementation, 1 kg DM of barley was equivalent to 1.14 kg DM of pelleted dried grass or 0.96 kg of DM of molasses/soybean meal to achieve the same level of carcass gain when fed with silage.

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Accession: 001596491

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.2307/25556189


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