Fish Meal as a Protein Supplement in Finishing Lamb Diets

Source: H. S. Hussein and R. M. Jordan

An in situ protein degradation trial and two growth trials were conducted to evaluate the use of fish meal 0 as a protein supplement in feeder lamb diets. Finn cross and Hampshire lambs were given ad libitum access to corn diets, minerals, and water. In Growth Trial 1, four isonitrogenous (12.6% CP on a DM basis) and isocaloric (77% TDN) diets were supplemented with the following: a) 100% soybean meal (SBM); b) 70% SBM + 30% FM, c) 40% SBM + 60% FM; and d) 100% FM on a DM basis. Diets were fed to 144 lambs for 56 d in a randomized complete block (initial BW) design. In Growth Trial 2, four diets were fed to 80 lambs for 42 d in a completely randomized design with treatments arranged as a 2 x 2 factorial. Main effects in Growth Trial 2 were dietary CP level (13.3 or 14.9%) and source (SBM or SBM + FM). Alfalfa hay was used as the roughage part of each diet. In situ CP degradation (determined in cattle) of SBM, FM, and corn fed in both growth trials were 77.8, 52.3, and 56.8%, respectively. In neither growth trial was ADG affected (P > .05) by dietary CP source. Lambs gained faster (P < .05) when the CP level was increased from 13.3 to 14.9% in Growth Trial 2. In both trials, protein efficiency ratio (grams of gain/grams of protein intake) and energy efficiency ratio (grams of gain/kilograms of TDN intake) were not different (P > .05) among diets. Because of the low ruminal degradation of corn protein, the relative value of SBM and FM in full-fed, highcorn diets- was comparable.