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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1806-9290


LIMA, Cláudio Adriano Correia de et al. Effect of melon in substitution of ground corn on performance, intake, and nutrients digestibility in Morada Nova lambs. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.41, n.1, pp.164-171. ISSN 1806-9290.

Performance, intake, and nutrients digestibility of 32 Morada Nova confined lambs were evaluated, using diets with increasing levels (0, 30, 60, 100%) of melon (Cucumis melo L.) in substitution of corn grain. Animals were about 6 months old, with an average of 15 kg of initial body weight and slaughtered at 25 kg. They were allocated in a completely randomized design with four treatments and eight replicates. The dry matter intake (DMI) presented a quadratic behavior for both sex, varying from 769 to 837 g for males, and from 722 to 646 g for females. Intakes of OM (organic matter), CP (crude protein), EE (ether extract), NDF (neutral detergent fiber), TDN (total digestible nutrients), TCH (total carbohydrate) and NFC (non fiber-carbohydrate) showed a quadratic curve, reflecting the same behavior of DMI. There was a decreasing linear response for the coefficient of apparent digestibility of dry matter (DM). The apparent digestibility coefficients of OM, CP, EE, NDF, and TCH presented an increasing linear response with the addition of melon in substitution of ground corn in the diet. Concerning the average daily gain (ADG) there was a better performance for males compared with females, as the levels of melon increased. Feed efficiency and conversion were not influenced by the treatments. There was an increasing linear effect for the days of confinement, which varied from 79 to 90. The levels of melon added to the Morada Nova lambs' diets provided reasonable performances. The treatment with 60% participation of melon shows the best economical return. On the other hand, when the level of melon is above 30%, the days in confinement increase, elevating the slaughter age.

Keywords : agricultural byproducts; daily gain; feedlot; semi-arid; sheep husbandry.

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