Effect of fat levels in early phase on growth performance and meat characteristics in twin lambs


Li W.J., Tao H., Ma T., Zhang N.F., Deng K.D., Diao Q.Y. (2021): Effect of fat levels in early phase on growth performance and meat characteristics in twin lambs. Czech J. Anim. Sci. 66 (2021):217-224.


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This experiment aims to study the effects of dietary fat level during the suckling period on growth performance and meat characteristics in twin lambs. Thirty pairs of male twin Hu lambs were divided into two groups, namely high fat (HF) and normal fat (NF). Lambs in the HF group were fed milk replacer and starter containing 26.89% and 5.07% of fat, whereas those in the NF group were fed milk replacer and starter containing 15.15% and 2.80% of fat, respectively, from eight to 60 days of age. From 60 to 120 days of age, all lambs were fed a starter feed containing 2.80% fat. The results showed that lambs fed HF diet had higher body weight (12.78 kg versus 11.63 kg, P = 0.020), average daily gain (162.4 g/day versus 141.1 g/day, P = 0.019), apparent digestibility of organic matter (P = 0.018) and gross energy (P < 0.001). No difference was observed between HF and NF group in slaughter performance during eight to 60 days of age. Lambs fed HF diet had higher body weight at 120 days of age (P = 0.035). However, no difference was observed in nutrient digestibility, slaughter performance or meat quality at 120 days of age. In summary, the HF diet in the suckling period showed long-lasting beneficial effects on the growth performance of lambs.

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