It was hypothesized that maize steep liquor, which is high in crude protein, could replace soybean meal in supplementation strategies in lamb production systems. Therefore, the effects of replacing soybean meal with maize steep liquor at 0%, 33%, 66% and 100% on a dry matter (DM) basis on growth performance, nutrient digestibility and carcass characteristics were assessed in feedlot lambs. Thirty-two Santa Inês intact male lambs, with an average initial weight of 21.0 ± 2.3 kg, were assigned to a completely randomized block design with four treatments and eight replicates. Intake of DM, organic matter, ether extract, neutral detergent fibre and total digestible nutrients were not affected by the diets. However, the intake of crude protein (CP) was reduced by 0.2 g/day for each 1% increase in the replacement level of soybean meal with maize steep liquor. Replacement of soybean meal with maize steep liquor in the diets did not affect the apparent digestibility of nutrients with the exception of CP, which decreased by 14.1 g/kg DM for each 1% increase in the replacement level of soybean meal. Similar trends were observed for average daily gain, hot carcass weight, cold carcass weight, hot carcass yield and cold carcass yield. From these results, soybean meal could be replaced by up to 100% with maize steep liquor in finishing diets for feedlot lambs.
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