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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Growth and Performance of Lambs Fed a Finishing Diet Containing Either Alfalfa Or Kenaf As the Roughage Source

Authors
item Phillips, William
item Reuter, Ryan - OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Brown, Michael
item Fitch, J - OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Rao, Srinivas
item Mayeux Jr, Herman

Submitted to: Small Ruminant Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2002
Publication Date: October 1, 2002
Citation: PHILLIPS, W.A., REUTER, R. R., BROWN, M.A., FITCH, J.Q., RAO, S.C., MAYEUX, H.S. GROWTH AND PERFORMANCE OF LAMBS FED A FINISHING DIET CONTAINING EITHER ALFALFA OR KENAF AS THE ROUGHAGE SOURCE. SMALL RUMINANT RESEARCH. 2002. v. 46. p. 1-5.

Interpretive Summary: Kenaf is a tropical annual plant that is primarily grown as a renewable source of industrial fiber. Developing other options for the use of kenaf would increase its flexibility as a component in a diverse agricultural enterprise. Previous work has shown that kenaf has potential as an ingredient in cattle and sheep diets, but information on animal performance ewhen kenaf is included in the diet is not available. Young lambs were use to determine the value of kenaf as a dietary component of their finishing diet. Replacing alfalfa hay, which is normally used in these diets, with kenaf hay did not significantly affect lamb performance or feed intake. kenaf could be marketed as a feedstuff for lamb or cattle diets as well as a source of fiber.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this research was to compare Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) to Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) as a roughage source in the finishing diets of lambs. Spring born purebred Suffolk ewe and wether lambs (average BW = 31.8 kg) were blocked by sex and sire then randomly assigned within block to pens. Within sex, pens were then randomly assigned to one of two dietary treatments. Each diet contained 1.3% limestone, 1.4% ammonium chloride, 5.9% molasses, 86.5% corn and 4.9% ground hay (Alfalfa or Kenaf) on an 'as is' basis. Lambs had ad libitum access to the experimental diets. Initial and final BW were taken after a 16-h fast without water. Data were analyzed as a randomized complete block design using animal as the experimental unit for BW and ADG, but pen was used as the experimental unit for feed intake data. Wether lambs weighed more (P < 0.01) than ewe lambs at the beginning (33.5 kg vs 30.3 kg) and end (50.0 kg vs 47.4 kg) of the experiment. However, ADG for the experimental period were similar (P > 0.10) between wether and ewe lambs (203 vs 186 g). Replacing Alfalfa hay in the finishing diet of lambs with Kenaf hay had no effect on ADG (P >.10 ; Alfalfa = 200 g ; Kenaf = 191 g) or average daily feed consumption (P > .10 ; Alfalfa = 1706 g ; Kenaf = 1646 g). From these data, we conclude that Kenaf hay can replace Alfalfa hay in the finishing diets of lambs without significantly affecting lamb performance or feed intake.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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