Effect of Feeding Graded Levels of Leaf Meal on Digestibility, Clinical Chemistry and Rumen Fermentation of Lambs
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In order to study the effect of replacing conventional concentrates with graded levels of leaf meal (LM) mixture in total mixed rations (TMR), 20 Corriedale lambs were divided randomly into four equal groups. The animals of control group (T1) were maintained on the TMR comprising of oats straw and concentrate mixture while in T2, T3 and T4 groups, the concentrate mixture in TMR was replaced with LM @ 15, 30 and 45%, respectively. Blood analysis was carried out at the start and end of the 120d experiment. Rumen studies was carried out at the end of the trial period. DM intake was significantly (P<0.05) improved in groups fed LM at 30 and 45% of concentrate mixture. The lambs fed rations with concentrate mixture replaced at 0 (T1) and 30% (T3) level by LM had significantly (P<0.05) higher gain in weight. Mean values of Hb and PCV, total protein, albumin, globulin, urea, creatinine and cholesterol, Ca and P and SGOT, SGPT and ALP were similar among the groups except for significant variation seen in serum urea. The ruminal pH, TVFA, NH3-N and NPN varied significantly among the groups. Cost of production lowered significantly (P<0.01) due to inclusion of LM mixture with highest percent reduction in feed cost per kg LW gain (19.27) at 30% and lowest (2.77) at 15% replacement. It is concluded that replacement of concentrate mixture in TMR by LM had no adverse effects on health, growth and rumen fermentation pattern in lambs and better results could be obtained at 30% replacement level.
Blood biochemical, Economics, Lambs, Leaf meal, Rumen metabolism.