Utilization of Fleabane (Conyza bonariensis) in Fattening Rations of Awassi Lambs

Discussion Committee: 
Prof. Jamal Abo Omar- Supervisor
Dr. Ayed Ghaleb Salama- External Examiner
Dr. Maen H. Samara- Internal Examiner
Prof.Jamal Abu Omar
Marwan Ibrahim Mahmoud Omar
This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of feeding fleabane on general performance, carcass cuts and visceral organs of Awassi lambs. Sixteen male lambs were used in the experiment and were divided into 4 groups with four lambs in each in a completely randomized design. Each lamb was considered as a replicate. Animals in group 1 were fed with a commercial fattening ration. Lambs in the other three treatments were fed with fleabane at rates of 5, 10 and 15%, respectively. Fleabane was incorporated to replace similar percentages of barley. Results of the experiment showed that fleabane has significant effect on weight gain of lambs. Starting from week 2, fleabane at all levels increased (P<0.05) lambs weight. From week 4 and after lambs fed with 10 and 15% fleabane had the highest (P<0.05) gain compared to the gain observed in lambs of the other two experimental groups. Similarly, the average daily gain observed in lambs fed with 10 and 15% fleabane was higher (P<0.05) than daily gains of lambs in other treatments. Lambs in all experimental groups had similar feed consumption. Incorporation of fleabane had no negative effects on feed intake even at high levels. Feed conversion ratios were relatively lower to what was expected of such used rations. Feeding fleabane had variable effects on the different carcass cuts. Fleabane at levels of 10 and 15% caused an increase (P<0.05) in leg, rib, shoulder and loin. However, fleabane had no effects on weights of shank, neck and breast. On the other hand, fleabane at the 10%and15% levels increased weights (P<0.05) of abdominal fat and the thickness of subcutaneous fat. Fleabane had no effects on the rib eye muscle area and depth. Feeding fleabane especially at the highest two levels caused an increase (P<0.05) in the average weights of these organs. Fleabane increased (P<0.05) the average weights of forestomach, rumen wet and dry weights, reticulum wet and dry weights, abomasum wet and dry weights, small intestine, large intestine and cecum. However, it has no significant effects on omasum wet and dry tissue weights, esophagus, trachea, total tract, gall bladder, spleen, kidney fat, feet, head and hide average weights. It is recommended that fleabane can be used in fattening lambs’ rations at rates of 10 and 15%, however, more research is needed in this area.
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