South African Journal of Animal Science
On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
BRAND, T.S et al. Effects of dietary energy content and provision of β-adrenergic agonist on the production of feedlot lambs. S. Afr. j. anim. sci. [online]. 2013, vol.43, suppl.1, pp. 135-139. ISSN 2221-4062.
Recent increases in mutton lamb prices have resulted in many lamb producers opting to finish more and more lambs on the farms in a feedlot system rather than marketing directly from the field. The aim of this trial was to determine the effect of dietary energy, as well as the inclusion of a β-adrenergic agonist, on the production of feedlot lambs. South African Mutton Merino lambs (108) of different sexes were weaned (± 36.4 kg) at ca. 120 days of age and were randomly divided into six experimental groups (18 lambs per group), which were adapted to each treatment. Lambs were housed in individual pens. The treatments consisted of three diets (diet 1: 11.3 MJ ME/kg food, diet: 2 12.0 MJ ME/kg food and diet 3: 12.7 MJ ME/kg) with either the inclusion or absence of a ß-adrenergic agonist at 8.5 g/ton. The experimental design was a 3 x 2 x 2 factorial design with dietary energy level, the provision of a ß-adrenergic agonist and sex as main factors. No interaction occurred between treatments and data are presented as the effect of dietary energy level and the inclusion of a stimulant on the intake, growth and feed conversion ratio (FCR). Neither the dietary energy content nor the β-adrenergic agonist had an effect on FCR. Neither one of the main factors had a significant effect on feed intake. The sex of the lambs had a significant effect on the average daily gain of the lambs with the ewes growing faster than the rams.
Keywords : South African mutton merino; energy; β-agonist.