The effects of adding fermented feed to a pelleted total mixed ration (PTMR) on the growth performance of lambs remain unclear. The present study aimed to investigate the feed efficiency and productivity of lambs that were fed PTMR containing fermented soybean meal (FSM) or wheat bran (FWB).
Sixty 90-d-old hybrid lambs were randomly allocated into 12 pens (5 lambs/pen) that were randomly assigned to 4 dietary treatments (3 pens/treatment) with PTMR (basal diet), 2% FSM, or Lactobacillus- or yeast-FWB (L-FWB or Y-FWB) addition in the basal diet.
The findings showed that lambs fed 2% FSM supplemented diet had enhanced (p<0.05) average daily gain (ADG) and carcass yield (p = 0.015), while they had a decreased (p = 0.006) feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared to that of other three groups. Inclusion of FSM or FWB in PTMR improved (p<0.05) the nutrient digestibility, while it reduced the urea nitrogen content in serum compared to the PTMR group. Additionally, the decreased ratio of N excretion to ADG (p<0.01) was observed with FSM and L-FWB supplementation compared with the PTMR and Y-FWB groups.
In conclusion, feeding the fermented feed-supplemented diet improved nutrient digestibility and growth performance, and 2% FSM-supplemented diet exhibited superior production-promoting efficiency to lambs.