Effect of Dietary Supplementation of Ferrous Sulfate on Performance and Carcass Characteristics of Finishing Lambs
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of including elevated levels of FeSO4 in lambs diet on DMI, growth, and carcass characteristics. Twenty-four Gulf Coast wether lambs (26.3 ± 3.63 kg initial BW, and 8 to 9 months of age) were assigned to one of 2 blocks based on their BW were randomly allocated to 1 of the 3 dietary treatments, giving 8 lambs per treatment. Animals were grouped in 2 pens per treatment (4 lambs/pen) with pen serving as the experimental unit. Treatment diets containing supplemental FeSO4 at 0, 75, or 150 mg/kg of DM were fed lambs. Treatment diets consisted of dry-rolled corn, SBM, and fescue/bermudagrass hay and were formulated to be isonitrogenous and isocaloric and to meet or exceed the NRC requirements of a finishing lamb. Lambs were slaughtered, and data were collected after a 48-h chill. Both growth and carcass quality data were analyzed using the GLM procedures. Dry matter intake, final BW, and ADG were not different among treatments (P = 0.5, 0.9, and 0.7, respectively). Also, no differences were observed in HCW (P = 0.9), CCW (P = 0.8), body wall fat (P = 0.6), 12th rib fat (P = 0.9), K&P fat (P = 0.9) and REA (P = 0.7) among treatments. These results support our hypothesis that the addition of 75 or 150 mg FeSO4 /kg in finishing lamb diets do not impact DMI, growth rate, and carcass characteristics of meat sheep.