This study was untaken to evaluate the effects of diets based on elephant grass or sugarcane as roughage and corn meal or rice bran as energy concentrate on carcass characteristics, meat quality, and the rack of lamb cut characteristics. Thirty-six lambs of undefined breed initially weighing 19.77±1.99 kg were used. A completely randomized design with eight treatments in a 2×2×2 factorial arrangement: two roughage (elephant grass or sugarcane), two concentrates (rice bran or corn meal), and two feeding levels (ad libitum or 60% of ad libitum) was performed. The nutrient intake was greater (P<0.05) in treatments with corn meal and elephant grass and at 4.96% of body weight feeding level. No interactions between roughage sources, concentrate sources, and feeding level was observed (P<0.05). The intake of dry matter was greater in lambs fed corn meal (P<0.05). No difference was observed on quality meat parameters (P>0.05), except for collagen solubility (P<0.05). Corn meal provided a noticeably greater percentage of protein (P<0.05), while rice bran promoted a greater fat deposition (P<0.05) in the rack of lamb. The use of sugarcane and rice bran as alternative foods for feedlot sheep is a viable strategy, because they do not decrease the quantitative and qualitative traits of sheep carcass and meat.
Key words: Elephant grass, performance, rice bran, sugarcane.
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