Growth and Carcass Quality of Prolific Crossbred Lambs Fed Silage with Fish Meal or Different Amounts of Concentrate

Source: Helene V. Petit and F. Castonguay

Sixty Romanov x Dorset (RVDP) and sixty Romanov x Suffolk (RVSU) male lambs were used in a 2 x 5 factorial arrangement of treatments including two breed crosses and five diets to determine the effect of breed crosses on performance and to compare growth and carcass characteristics of lambs. Diets consisted of an all-silage diet, silage supplemented with 100 g of fish meal.animnal-l.d-l, or silage supplemented daily with concentrate at either 200 g or 400 g per animal, or ad libitum intake. Lambs were fed from an initial weight of 23 kg to a slaughter weight of 45 kg. There was no interaction (P > .10) between diet and breed for any parameter measured. Silage DMI was decreased (P < .05) by supplementation, but total DMI was similar among diets. The ADG was increased by fish meal and concentrate supplementation, with higher (P < .05) ADG observed with ad libitum access to concentrate. Lambs that had ad libitum access to concentrate had an improved gain:feed and required less time to reach market weight but had more carcass fat than lambs fed other diets. Lambs fed only silage had a higher percentage of carcass with poorer muscling than others. The highest percentage of carcasses with excellent to good muscling, normal fat covering, and grades A1 and A2 was obtained with fish meal supplementation. Lambs from the RVSU-crossbreed had better ADG than RVDP lambs but carcass quality of RVDP lambs was better than that of RVSU lambs. Feed costs for the entire trial were higher (P < .05) for concentrate available on an ad libitum basis compared with silage fed alone and intermediate for the other diets. These data demonstrate that fish meal supplementation results in improved carcass quality of silage-fed crossbred lambs. Carcass quality of RVDP lambs is better than that of RVSU lambs.