This study evaluated histological changes in the digestive organs and kidneys of sheep fed sugarcane silage augmented with detoxified castor bean meal (CBM). Forty Santa Inês sheep (initial weight 20 ± 0.3 kg) were adapted to the experimental regime for 14 days, after which data were collected for 60 days. The treatments consisted of S0: sugarcane silage (SC); S5: SC augmented with 5% CBM; S10: SC augmented with 10% CBM; S15: SC augmented with 15% CBM; and S20: SC augmented with 20% CBM. After 74 days of confinement, the animals were slaughtered, and then fragments of the liver, rumen, intestine, and kidney were collected for histomorphometric analyses. The intake of dry matter and the average weight gain increased linearly with the level of CBM (P <0.05), as did the rumen absorption area, the height of the papillae and the width of the papillae. The thickness of the keratinized portion of the epithelium was not influenced, Thus, no effect was detected of the anti-nutritional factor of CBM on this organ. In the intestine, CBM increased the height of the villi and the number of goblet cells. However, S20 caused some kidney damage and decreased hepatic glycogen stock, but not sufficiently to reduce performance. Thus, augmentation of sugarcane with CBM, up to 20%, is viable in feeding sheep.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher