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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1806-9290


SILVA, Aderbal Marcos de Azevêdo et al. Body composition and nutritional requirements of protein and energy for body weight gain of lambs browsing in a tropical semiarid region. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2010, vol.39, n.1, pp.210-216. ISSN 1806-9290.

This study evaluated body fat, protein and energy contents and nutritional requirements for body weight (BW) gain of lambs in tropical semiarid conditions. Thirty-two castrated Santa Inês 3-to-4-month old lambs (initial BW: 15.8 kg ± 1.4 kg) were used. Eight lambs were initially slaughtered to serve as the reference for initial body weight composition. The remaining 24 animals were placed in a randomized block with three treatments and eight replications. Each one of the eight experimental blocks consisted initially of three 15 kg lambs to which treatments (daily supplement levels: 0.0, 1.0, and 1.5% of body weight of a corn, soybean and minerals concentrate mixture adjusted for a daily 200 g BW gain at 1.5% level) were randomly assigned. As one of the lambs reached 30 kg all three were slaughtered. Body composition (per kg of empty body weight - EBW), ranged from 171.59 to 145.84 g protein, from 0.53 to 319.00 g fat, and from 2,06 to 3,90 Mcal energy, for lambs from 15 to 30 kg EBW, respectively. Net requirements for 200 g BW gain/day ranged from 25.99 to 22.09 g protein and from 0.311 to 0.591 Mcal energy for lambs from 15 to 30 kg EBW, respectively. Santa Inês lambs browsing in tropical semiarid regions require more protein and less energy than lambs raised in temperate regions or kept in feedlots in tropical areas, as reported in the literature.

Keywords : caatinga; native pasture; sheep.

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