Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9290
SANTOS, José Walter dos et al. Finger millet grain levels in sheep diets: intake and digestibility. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2008, vol.37, n.10, pp. 1884-1889. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982008001000024.
The objective was to evaluate in sheep the intake and apparent digestibility of nutrients diets containing finger millet grain (Eleusine coracana). Twenty lambs were used with average initial 18.90 kg BW, in a completely randomized design, with five diets and four replications. The animals were fed isoprotein diets formulated with 0.0, 16.0, 32.5, 48.0 e 67.0% of finger millet grain in substitution of corn meal, with 50:50 forage to concentrate ratio (%DM). The levels of finger millet grain did not affect the intake of DM, TDN and NDF. Dry matter intake was 1.2 kg/anim/d and 3.2% of BW. The coefficient of apparent digestibility of DM and NDT linearly decreased in 0.1425 and 0.1612%, respectively, for each 1% of finger millet grain in the concentrate, which is related to higher levels of NDF and NDFi in this feed. The digestibility coefficients OM and NDF showed maximum values of 57.64 and 53.60% in the levels of 42.36 and 39.56% of finger millet grain in the concentrate. Apparent digestibility of CP and EE were 56.90 and 66.86% respectively. The replacement of corn meal per finger millet grain in the diet of sheep does not affected dry matter intake of nutrients, but reduced the digestibility of DM, OM, total carbohydrates and TDN. Then, this ingredient could replace up to 50% of corn meal in the concentrate for sheep.
Keywords : alternative ingredients; feedlot; lambs.