Effect of replacing barley with rice bran in finishing diet on productive performance and carcass characteristics of Afshari lambs

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Thirty-five male Afshari lambs (3.5 months old), with an average weight of 35 kg were randomly assigned to one of five experimental treatments relating to optimal replacement level of rice bran in lamb finishing diets. The lambs were fed a milled concentrate (3 mm screen) diet supplemented with 15% (DM basis) chopped (5 cm length) lucerne hay and chopped (5 cm length) maize silage or wet (80% moisture) sugar beet pulp. Barley grain in the lambs' diets was replaced by rice bran at either 0, 15, 30, 45 or 60% of the concentrate mixture on a dry matter basis. Results show that lambs fed 45 and 60% rice bran treatments weighed significantly less than those fed with 15 and 30% and control group (P < 0.05). Average daily gain in lambs fed with concentrate mixtures containing 45 and 60% rice bran were 33 and 47% lower than control, respectively (P < 0.05). Lambs that received diets containing 45 and 60% rice bran, had lower feed intake (P < 0.05) than other groups. Using rice bran in the finishing diet had no significant effect on dressing percentage, tail percentage, abdominal fat and visceral organ weights. These results suggest that barley can be replaced with rice bran up to 30% in the finishing diets of lambs without any adverse effect on lamb performance.

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