Effects of Bermudagrass-Clippings Pellets on Growth and Carcass Characteristics of Lambs

Matt L. McMillan, Sam P. Jackson, Stanley F. Kelley

Abstract


Sixty Suffolk, Suffolk x Rambouillet, and St. Croix x Dorper (hair sheep) lambs were randomly assigned within breed group to 10 pens to determine if bermudagrass-clippings (Cynodon dactylon L.) from lawns could be an alternative forage source in feedlot diets.  Each pen, an experimental unit, consisted of Suffolk (n = 2), Suffolk x Rambouillet (n  =2), and hair crossbred (n = 2) lambs.  Treatment and control diets were randomly assigned to pens with five replications.  Treatment diets contained bermudagrass-clipping pellets with control diets containing alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) pellets, each fed at 10% of the total ration.  Lambs were weighed on day 0 and weekly, thereafter, and fed ad libitum to end weights of 54 kg for wethers and 49 kg for ewe lambs at which time they were slaughtered.  No differences were observed between treatments for feed efficiency or carcass characteristics, although breed effects existed.  While breed did not effect total gain (P > .05), effects were determined (P < .05) for days on feed, average daily gain, consumption, average daily feed intake (ADFI), and feed:gain.  No treatment*breed interaction (P > .05) existed for feed efficiency or carcass characteristics.  Therefore, bermudagrass-clippings can be an alternative forage source for feedlot lambs when fed at 10% of a finishing diet.


Keywords


lambs; bermudagrass; growth

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