Nutrient Requirements for Growth of Lambs under Hot Semiarid Environment

  • Karim, S.A. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute) ;
  • Santra, A. (Division of Animal Nutrition, Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute)
  • Received : 2002.08.06
  • Accepted : 2003.01.20
  • Published : 2003.05.01


A factorial experiment was conducted to assess nutrient utilization by growing lambs maintained on three levels each of digestible energy (high: HE, medium: ME, low: LE) and protein (high: HP, medium: MP, low: LP) in nine combinations (HEHP, HEMP, HELP, MEHP, MEMP, MELP, LEHP, LEMP, LELP). The experiment was conducted during the hot season in a semiarid location. Daily dry matter intake (DMI) was similar in all the groups in terms of unit body weight or metabolic body size. Digestibility of DM and nitrogen free extract increased (p<0.01) from low to medium and high energy regimen while the CF digestibility followed a reverse trend. The digestibility of crude protein (CP) decreased from high to medium and low protein regimens while it was similar in terms of energy variation. Nitrogen intake was higher in high followed by medium and low protein regime while fecal and urinary nitrogen loss were similar in all the treatment groups. Lambs in all the three levels of protein were in positive N balance and percent N retention was higher (p<0.01) in high followed by medium and low protein levels whereas it was similar in terms of energy variation. Initial body weight was similar in all the groups while final weight, total gain in the experiment and average daily gain (ADG) were higher in high than medium and low energy regimens. It is concluded that crossbred lambs required 75.1 g DM, 9.6 g CP, 6.3 g DCP and 711 KJ DE/kg W $^{0.75}$or 11.0 g CP/MJ DE or 7.2 g DCP/MJ DE for 93 g average daily gain in a hot semiarid environment.


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