Bean meal and cactus pear in Santa Inês lamb rations for meat production: Intake, digestibility, performance, carcass yield, and meat quality
Aim of study: The objective of this study was to evaluate the intake, digestibility, performance, carcass yield, and meat quality parameters in Santa Inês lambs fed cactus pear and bean meal.
Area of study: NW Brazil
Material and methods: 32 intact Santa Inês male lambs were distributed in a completely randomized design with 4 treatments (diets): control diet (concentrated feed containing corn and soybean meal as energy and protein ingredients); diet containing bean meal as a protein source; diet containing cactus pear as an energy source and; diet containing bean meal and/or cactus pear), using 8 animals per treatment. At the end of the experimental period, lambs were slaughtered with an average body weight of 32.78 kg.
Main results: Animal fed cactus pear and bean meal/cactus pear had a higher intake and digestibility for non-fibrous carbohydrates (p<0.05). Lambs fed cactus pear diet had greater water intake via diet and lower neutral detergent fibre digestibility compared to other evaluated diets (p<0.05). Cactus pear and bean meal/cactus pear diets promoted lower water intake concerning to control and bean meal diets (p<0.05). The lower feed conversion was observed for animals that received control diet (p<0.05). Carcass characteristics and meat quality were not affected for the diets (p>0.05). Bean meal can be used as a source of protein concentrate in combination with cactus pear promoting a reduction in the use of corn and soybean in diets for small ruminants. The use of cactus pear in the diets promoted a water supply to the animals.
Research highlights: Diets containing cactus pear and bean meal/cactus pear provided higher non-fibrous carbohydrates intake.
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