Influence of Feeding Peanut Skins on Performance of Gulf Coast Ewe Lambs
The effects of varying levels of dietary peanut skins (PS) inclusion on dry matter intake (DMI), growth, and carcass characteristics of lambs was assessed in 135-d feeding trial. We hypothesized that supplementing lambs’ diet with increasing levels of PS would increase DMI, enhance body growth, and impact carcass characteristics. Thus, the overall objective of the study was to gain a thorough understanding of the feeding value of PS to lambs. Twelve Gulf Coast ewe lambs (27.75 ± 0.93 kg initial body weight (BW) and 7 to 8 months of age) were blocked by BW and were randomly assigned within block to 1 of the 3 dietary treatments. Lambs were grouped in 2 pens per treatment (2 lambs/pen; n = 4/dietary treatment) with pen serving as the experimental unit. Lambs were fed dietary treatments containing 0 (control), 20, or 40% PS (DM basis) as a replacement for corn and SBM. Control diet contained dry-rolled corn, SBM, and fescue/Bermuda grass hay at forage to concentrate ratio of 63:37. All diets were formulated to meet or exceed the NRC requirements of the finishing lambs. At the end of the feeding trial, lambs were slaughtered, and carcass data were collected after a 48-h chill. Dry matter intake and final BW were not different among treatments (P >0.05). Also, no differences were observed in hot carcass weight (HCW; P = 0.57), cold carcass weight (CCW; P = 0.24), body wall fat (P = 0.06), 12th rib fat (P = 0.10), and kidney and pelvic fat (K&P fat; P = 0.65) among treatments. However, rib eye area (REA) was greater (P < 0.01) in lambs fed 0% and 20% PS than in lambs fed 40% PS. These results suggest that PS can replace a portion of corn and SBM commonly fed to lambs without any ad
verse effects on carcass characteristics or lambs performance. Thus, PS needs to be seriously considered as a potential low-cost feedstuff for ruminants.