Comparison of triticale cultivars with maize grain for finishing lambs (Short Communication)

Author: T.S. Brand and G.D. van der Merwe
Year: 1994
Issue: 4
Volume: 24
Page: 143 - 146

Grains from five triticale cultivars on the South African market (Usgen 7; 10; 14; 18; 19) were compared with each other and to maize in enriched mixtures for lambs in a feedlot. The grain was enriched by adding 12% of a commercial concentrate formula. Diets were fed individually to SA Mutton Merino lambs (5 ram and 5 ewe lambs/ diet) from about eight weeks of age (c. 19 kg) to 20 weeks of age (c. 35 kg). Lucerne hay (milled through a 12- mm screen) was supplied separately at c. 10% of ad libitum intake. The crude protein (CP) content of triticale grain varied between 10.3% (Usgen 18) and 11.6% (Usgen 14). The mean in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD; 88.8%), acid detergent fibre (ADF; 3.7%) and neutral detergent fibre (NDF; 20.4%) matched those in cited literature. The CP and digestible energy (DE) of the diets were 14.7% CP and 15.4 MJ DE/ kg DM. No significant (P > 0.05) differences were observed between the diets in grain intake, hay intake, total dry matter intake, average daily grain (ADG) or feed conversion ratio (FCR). Lambs receiving enriched maize, however, tended to have better FCR (13%) than lambs consuming enriched triticale. Lambs fed Usgen 10 tended to have lower ADG (24%) and poorer FCR (22%) than lambs receiving the other triticale cultivars. Ram lambs had an 8% (P≤ 0.08) higher DMI and 19% (P≤ 0.01) faster growth than ewe lambs; their FCR was 9% (P ≤ 0.12) better. Triticale may be fed successfully in enriched whole grain mixtures for feedlot lambs, although their FCR may be lower than with maize. Feeding values of triticale diets based on FCR ranged from 65% to 94% of that of maize diets, which averaged only 85%.

Keywords: finishing, grain, lambs, Maize, triticale
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