R. Bras. Zootec.01/Apr/2016;45(4):145-50.
Performance of lambs fed alternative protein sources to soybean meal
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of alternative protein sources (castor bean cake, sunflower cake, and sunflower seed) to soybean meal on the intake and performance of 40 lambs, initially weighing 19.8±1.84 kg, fed diets based on Tifton grass hay. The experimental design was completely randomized blocks. There were no differences in the nutrient intake of castor bean diets compared with soybean meal. The intake of nutrients in the sunflower cake and sunflower seed diets was decreased compared with soybean meal. The apparent digestibility coefficients of dry matter, organic matter, crude protein, and neutral detergent fiber of sunflower cake and sunflower seed diets were decreased compared with soybean meal. The average daily weight gain of animals fed the castor bean diet (0.190 kg) was not different from that of the animals fed the soybean meal diet (0.217 kg). The sunflower cake and sunflower seed diets provided less weight gain (0.171 and 0.135 kg d-1, respectively) than soybean meal due to the lower nutrient intake. The hot carcass yield and true yield were not affected by the protein sources. The neck, ribs, and ham weights were similar in lambs fed soybean meal and castor bean cake diets. It is recommended to use castor bean as an alternative protein source in the diet of lambs.