Influence of Protein and Energy Level in Finishing Diets for Feedlot Hair Lambs: Growth Performance, Dietary Energetics and Carcass Characteristics

  • Rios-Rincon, F.G. (Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa) ;
  • Estrada-Angulo, A. (Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa) ;
  • Plascencia, A. (Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California) ;
  • Lopez-Soto, M.A. (Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California) ;
  • Castro-Perez, B.I. (Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa) ;
  • Portillo-Loera, J.J. (Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa) ;
  • Robles-Estrada, J.C. (Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa) ;
  • Calderon-Cortes, J.F. (Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California) ;
  • Davila-Ramos, H. (Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa)
  • Received : 2013.05.31
  • Accepted : 2013.09.14
  • Published : 2014.01.01


Forty-eight Pelibuey${\times}$Katahdin male intact lambs ($23.87{\pm}2.84$ kg) were used in an 84-d feeding trial, with six pens per treatment in a $2{\times}2$ factorial design arrangement. The aim of the study was to evaluate the interaction of two dietary energy levels (3.05 and 2.83 Mcal/kg ME) and two dietary protein levels (17.5% and 14.5%) on growth performance, dietary energetics and carcass traits. The dietary treatments used were: i) High protein-high energy (HP-HE); ii) High protein-low energy (HP-LE); iii) Low protein-high energy (LP-HE), and iv) Low protein-low energy (LP-LE). With a high-energy level, dry matter intake (DMI) values were 6.1% lower in the low-protein diets, while with low-energy, the DMI values did not differ between the dietary protein levels. Energy levels did not influence the final weight and average daily gain (ADG), but resulted in lower DMI values and higher gain efficiencies. No effects of protein level were detected on growth performance. The observed dietary net energy (NE) ratio and observed DMI were closer than expected in all treatments and were not affected by the different treatments. There was an interaction (p<0.03) between energy and protein level for kidney-pelvic and heart fat (KPH), KPH was higher in lambs fed high energy and high protein diet but not in high energy and low protein diet. The KPH was increased (20.2%, p = 0.01) in high-energy diets, while fat thickness was increased (21.7%, p = 0.02) in high-protein diets. Therefore, it is concluded that dietary energy levels play a more important role in feed efficiency than protein levels in finishing lambs with a high-energy diet (>2.80 Mcal/kg ME). Providing a level of protein above 14.5% does not improves growth-performance, dietary energetics or carcass dressing percentage.


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