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Effect of dietary protein and clinoptilolite levels on weight gain feed utilization and carcass measurements in finishing lambs



Effect of dietary protein and clinoptilolite levels on weight gain feed utilization and carcass measurements in finishing lambs



Nutrition Reports International 32(4): 855-862



Sixty-four intact male lambs [24 Dorsets and 40 crossbreds representing advanced generations of a composite population of 50% Finnish Landrace (FL), 25% Dorset (D) and 25% Rambouillet (R) breeding] were fed ad libitum individually for 42 days in a 2 .times. 4 factorial arrangement of diet treatments (10 or 15% protein and 0, 1, 2 or 4% clinoptilolite). Body weight gain, feed consumption and gain/feed were recorded for 42 days and carcass measurements were taken on all lambs at slaughter. Lambs fed 15% protein tended to gain more body weight (P < 0.07) than those fed 10% protein, converted feed to body weight gain more efficiently (P < 0.02) and had a higher (P < 0.03) leg conformation score. The addition of 2 or 4% clinoptilolite to the diet was associated with greater body weight gain (P < 0.01) and gain/feed (P < 0.01) than a level of 1%; weight gain and gain/feed of lambs fed diets containing 1% clinoptilolite were not significantly different from those not fed clinoptilolite. Crossbred (FL .times. D .times. R) lambs had greater body weight gain (P < 0.01), gain/fed (P < 0.01), percentage of kidney fat (P < 0.01) and leg conformation score (P < 0.01) than Dorset lambs. There were no interactions between diet and breed or between dietary protein level and clinoptilolite level for any trait measured. The data provide no evidence for breed differences in response to low dietary protein, but suggest that a supplemental level of 2% clinoptilolite (NH4+ binding capacity of 1.58 meq/g) improves weight gain and gain/feed in intact male lambs fed high concentrate diets during the finishing period.

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