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Intake, performance, and carcass characteristics of lambs fed spineless cactus replacing wheat bran


To assess the intake, digestibility of nutrients, ingestive behavior, performance, and carcass characteristics of feedlot lambs, 36 F1 Santa Ines × Dorper male lambs with an initial average weight of 19.5 ± 0.27 kg were fed with different levels of spineless cactus (0, 33, 66, and 100 %) as a replacement of the wheat bran. The replacement diets had no effect on the intake of dry matter (DM) or crude protein (CP), whose average values were 962 and 140 g/day, respectively. There was a quadratic effect on the intake of digestible organic matter (OM) and the digestibility of DM, CP, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and non-fiber carbohydrates (NFC). The highest average daily gain (ADG) of 168 g/day was achieved at 58.7 % replacement level. The highest hot and cold carcass weights of 15.4 and 14.5 kg were achieved at 62.4 and 56.9 % replacement levels. For lambs in the feedlot, we recommend replacing wheat bran with up to 58.7 % spineless cactus.

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Correspondence to Janaina de Lima Silva.

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Felix, S.C.R., Pessoa, R.A.S., de Andrade Ferreira, M. et al. Intake, performance, and carcass characteristics of lambs fed spineless cactus replacing wheat bran. Trop Anim Health Prod 48, 465–468 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-015-0969-2

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  • Alternative feed
  • Carcass yield
  • Dry matter intake
  • Spineless cactus
  • Weight gain