This study was conducted to compare effects of 3 physical forms of feed including mash (diet 1), pellet (diet 2) and complete feed block (CFB; diet 3) on digestion, fermentation and performance of lambs. Twenty-one lambs with an initial average body weight of 26 ± 2.5 kg and 6 ± 1.5 months of age were assigned through a completely randomized design to 3 treatments and 7 replicates. The experimental treatments had the same formulation. The results of present experiment showed that CFB significantly increased feed intake and nutrient digestibility (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference among the diets for rumen fluid pH, blood glucose, concentration of volatile fatty acids (P > 0.05), except acetic acid (P < 0.05). The rumen ammonia nitrogen (NH3–N), mixed rumen protozoa population (RPP), Entodiniums spp., Epidiniums spp., blood urea nitrogen (BUN) concentration, rumination time adjusted for dry matter (DM), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF) intake, and total body weight gain of lambs in CFB diet were the highest among all diets (P < 0.05). Feed conversion ratio at days 31 to 45 and whole experimental period were better in CFB than in other diets (P < 0.05). Overall, according to the findings of the present study, among 3 physical forms of the diets, CFB had the best efficiency due to improvement of nutrient digestibility, rumen fermentation and performance of lambs. Therefore, the CFB diet offers the best result in lambs compared with mash and pellet diets.
Karimizadeh, E., Chaji, M., & Mohammadabadi, T. (2017). Effects of physical form of diet on nutrient digestibility, rumen fermentation, rumination, growth performance and protozoa population of finishing lambs. Animal Nutrition, 3(2), 139–144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aninu.2017.01.004