TROPICAL ANIMAL HEALTH AND PRODUCTION, vol.41, no.4, pp.485-491, 2009 (SCI-Expanded)
This experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of cafeteria (CF) and conventional (CN) feeding systems on feed intake, feed preferences with respect to voluntary feed source intake, feed conversion rate (FCR) and fattening performance of native Awassi lambs. Sixteen, 3 month old male lambs were used and kept individually for 70 days. Lambs in CF (n = 8) were offered to consume the main ingredients of barley, soybean meal (SBM), sunflower seed meal (SFM) and alfalfa straw, separately, while lambs in CN (n = 8) were fed with a concentrate feed containing 11.34 MJ/kg ME, 17.53% crude protein with the mixture of the same feed sources and alfalfa straw. The initial and final live weights of lambs were similar among groups (P > 0.05). Daily voluntary intake of ash, fat and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) consumptions among groups were quite different during the experiment (P < 0.001). Neither biweekly nor total results of voluntary protein intake between groups were not found statistically significant (P > 0.05). From beginning to the end of the study, the proportional barley intake increased 34 to 43% but reduced for SBM intake from 37 to 23% for the lambs in CF. On the other hand, the SFM intake of lambs did not changed significantly during the experiment and ranged between 2-5%. Lambs in CF did not consume SFM to meet their protein requirement and had 12.5% better total FCR result than the lambs in CN (6.86 and 7.84, respectively) (P > 0.05). The difference of average DWG, total live weight gain, final live weight of lambs in groups were similar (P > 0.05). In conclusion, Awassi lambs in CF can select a diet matching their nutritional requirements from a group of feed sources in response to their growth period when compared to CN system and better FCR result might help to decrease the feed expenses for fattening of native Awassi lambs.