Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Effects of substituting maize silage with sweet sorghum silage on feed intake, digestibility, growth performance and carcass traits in lambs


Jinjin Wang 1,a, Guo Yang 2,a, Ruiyin Zhang 1, Xiaoqi Wang 1, Qinqin Ma 1, Cunfang Zhang 3, Wei Ding 4, Ziyuan Duan 1*

Recieved Date: 2015-11-02, Accepted Date: 2016-03-24


Sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) is a valuable water-efficient crop, especially in arid environments. Many studies have focused on using sweet sorghum as a substitution forage source for more water-consuming crops, such as forage maize. However, the effects of sweet sorghum silage on lamb growth and carcass traits are not well known. In this study, we investigated the chemical composition of sweet sorghum and maize growing in the arid region of Ningxia, China, and the effects of sweet sorghum silage and maize silage on growth and carcass traits in Ningxia Tan sheep. The results showed that sweet sorghum silage and maize silage had similar concentrations of CP, but differed (P<0.05) in concentrations of ash, EE, NDF and ADF. Inoculation with Lactobacillus plantarum and Pediococcus pentosaceus decreased the concentration of NDF in sweet sorghum silage (P<0.05). The marginal means showed that lambs that were offered maize silage, Leymus chinensis and concentrates (group C) had greater ADG (P<0.05) than lambs offered sweet sorghum silage, alfalfa and concentrates (group B). The carcass traits did not differ between lambs fed with sweet sorghum silage or maize silage. The results from a cost efficiency analysis of the diet groups showed that group A is more cost efficient than group B and group D. These results suggest that sweet sorghum silage may be a good alternative to maize silage for lambs in arid regions.


Carcass traits, chemical composition, growth traits, maize silage, semi-arid region, sweet sorghum silage, Tan sheep

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2016
Volume: 14
Issue: 2
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 121-125

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