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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2007  |  Volume: 10  |  Issue: 20  |  Page No.: 3613 - 3619

Productivity, Blood Metabolites and Carcass Characteristics of Fattening Zandi Lambs Fed Sodium Bentonite Supplemented Total Mixed Rations

A.A. Khadem, M. Soofizadeh and A. Afzalzadeh    

Abstract: Thirty male Zandy lambs (25±0.50 kg BW, 10 lambs in each group) were randomly allocated in three (control, 2% bentonite and 4% bentonite) treatment groups. Lambs were fed Total Mixed Rations (TMRs) containing 75% Concentrate Mixture (CM) and 25% forage. Sodium bentonite was mixed with the CM part of TMRs before being mixed with the forage. The fattening period lasted 84 days and data were collected on the performance, blood metabolites and carcass characteristics of lambs. Results showed that sheep fed bentonite added diets had relatively higher feed intake than the control group which ended to slightly higher weight change with a fairly appropriate feed conversion ratio in bentonite fed animals. Compared to the control group, a reasonably lower glucose and urea concentration and a higher total protein content was observed in the blood of sheep fed bentonite supplemented diets. The use of bentonite in diets did not affect the blood cholesterol contents of sheep. Slaughter weights, carcass dressing out percentages and carcass cuts were a bit higher in sheep of bentonite fed groups compared to those in control group. Sheep fed bentonite added diets produced carcasses with lower subcutaneous fat thicknesses and lower fat-tail percentages. Furthermore, feed cost was estimated to be lower for sheep in 2% bentonite group than that in other two groups. In conclusion, the use of two-percent sodium bentonite is suggested for diets of fattening lambs in Iranian feed markets.

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