Article

Evaluating the effects of finishing diet and feeding location on sheep performance, carcass characteristics, and internal parasites

Devon Ragen1, Jane Boles1,*, Molly Butler1,**, William Layton2,***, Thomas Craig3,****, Patrick Hatfield1,*****
Author Information & Copyright
1Department of Animal and Range Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, United States.
2Montana Department of Livestock, Bozeman, MT 59718, United States.
3Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, United States.
*****Corresponding Author: Jane Ann Boles, Department of Animal and Range Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, United States. E-mail: jboles@montana.edu.
*****Corresponding Author: Molly Ruth Butler, Department of Animal and Range Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, United States. E-mail: molly.ruth.butler@hotmail.com.
*****Corresponding Author: William A Layton, Montana Department of Livestock, Bozeman, MT 59718, United States. E-mail: blayton@mt.gov.
*****Corresponding Author: Thomas M Craig, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, United States. E-mail: tcraig@cvm.tamu.edu.
*****Corresponding Author: Patrick G Hatfield, Department of Animal and Range Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, United States. E-mail: hatfield@montana.edu.

© Copyright 2021 Korean Society of Animal Science and Technology. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Jan 17, 2021; Revised: Jan 26, 2021; Accepted: Feb 01, 2021

Published Online: Feb 05, 2021

Abstract

A 3 yr experiment was conducted to evaluate the influence of diet and feeding location on animal performance, carcass characteristics, whole blood counts, and internal parasite burden of lambs assigned to 1 of 4 treatments: 1) confinement fed 71% alfalfa, 18% barley pellet, 5% molasses, 0.013% Bovatec, 6.1% vitamin/mineral package diet (<strong>CALF)</strong>, 2) confinement fed 60% barley, 26% alfalfa pellet, 4% molasses, 2.5% soybean-hi pro, 0.016% Bovatec, 7.4% vitamin/mineral package diet (<strong>CBAR</strong>), 3) field fed 71% alfalfa, 18% barley pellet, 5% molasses, 0.013% Bovatec, 6.1% vitamin/mineral package diet (<strong>FALF</strong>), and 4) field fed 60% barley, 26% alfalfa pellet, 4% molasses, 2.5% soybean-hi pro, 0.016% Bovatec, 7.4% vitamin/mineral package diet (<strong>FBAR</strong>). Lambs had <italic>ad libitum</italic> access to feed and water during the 60-65 d experimental period each year. A year × location interaction was detected for ending BW, ADG, and DMI; therefore results are presented by year. In all years, cost of gain and DMI were greater for CALF and FALF than for CBAR and FBAR feed treatments (<italic>p</italic>≤ 0.03). In yr 2 and 3 field treatments had greater ending BW and ADG than confinement treatments. For all years, diet did not affect ending BW or ADG. In yr 1 dressing percent and rib eye area were greater for field finished lambs than confinement finished (<italic>p</italic>≤ 0.02) and Warner-Bratzler shear force was greater for CALF and FALF (<italic>p</italic> =0.03). In yr 2 lambs in FALF and FBAR treatments had greater leg scores and conformation than CALF and CBAR (<italic>p</italic> =0.09). In yr 1, FALF had a greater small intestine total worm count than all other treatments. In yr 1, ending <italic>Trichostrongyle </italic>type egg counts were greater for FALF (<italic>p</italic>=0.05). In yr 2, ending <italic>Nematodirus spp</italic>. egg counts were greater for FALF and lowest for CBAR (<italic>p</italic>&lt; 0.01). Abomasum <italic>Teladorsagia circumcinta</italic> worm burden was greater in CALF than all other treatments (<italic>p</italic>= 0.07) in yr 2. While field finishing lambs with a grain- or forage-based diet we conclude that it is possible to produce a quality lamb product without adverse effects to animal performance, carcass quality or increasing parasite burdens.

Keywords: carcass; confinement; field; finishing; parasites; sheep


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