Productive performance and carcass characteristics of lambs fed diets containing different levels of palm kernel cake

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Felicidade Macome Ronaldo Lopes O Adriana Regina B Gherman Garcia Leal A Larissa Pires B Mauricio Costa Alves Da S

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ABSTRACT

Objective. The objective of this study was to determine the effect on productiveperformance and carcass characteristics in lambs fed with different amounts of palmkernel cake. Material and methods. Thirty-two Santa Inês lambs, with an initial livebody weight of 24.8 ± 3.59 kg were used. Treatments consisted of four levels (0; 6.5;13.0 and 19.5%) of palm kernel cake added to the dry matter diet. Lambs were fed for80 days, and then slaughtered to be evaluated for the quantitative characteristics of thecarcass. Results. Intake of dry matter and non-structural carbohydrates decreased withincreasing levels of palm kernel cake. The intake of neutral detergent fiber showed a linearincrease. Crude protein and total digestive nutrient intake were not affected. Weight gain,and the feed:gain ratio of dry matter, organic matter, crude protein and total digestivenutrients were similar among the four treatments. There was an increase on the feed:gainratio of neutral detergent fiber and a decrease of nonstructural carbohydrates. The weightgain at slaughter and biometric measures were not affected by treatment. The carcasscompactness index showed a linear decrease. The indexes of leg muscularity, compactnessof the leg and rib eye area were similar among treatments. There was a linear decrease inthe cold carcass weight and commercial yield of the carcass. Conclusions. The diet madeof up to 19.5% palm kernel cake reduced DM intake, the carcass compactness index andcarcass commercial yield, but did not alter weight gain, or feed dry matter intake.

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