Existing potential livestock meat resources include 9 million male calves, 3.57 million growing male sheep and 8.71 million male goats annually. These are raised by conventional methods resulting in low carcass weight (per unit animal meat production) and have high mortality rate depleting the potential meat resources. Main factor responsible for low meat production in ruminants is insufficient and improper nutrition. Longitudinal studies have been carried out for the technology development for cost effective feedlot fattening of large and small ruminants. Research was focused to know the proper age and nutrient requirement of fattening animal, period of fattening for optimum growth and economic efficiency. Slaughtering parameters were also studied to evaluate carcass and meat quality.
For fattening of large and small ruminants, concentrate ration should be mixed with wheat straw in 60:40 ratio. However, wheat straw can be replaced partially with green fodder considering price and availability so that total mix ration may contain crude protein 15% and total digestible nutrients 65%. Mix these components thoroughly and start feeding with small quantity and then gradually increase its feeding level. After one week, animals should be completely shifted to the total mixed ration and be fed on ad-libitum basis for 80-100 days. The technology has been extensively demonstrated and adopted by the farmers particularly in Potwar areas. Farmer’s participatory feedlot trials on beef and mutton production demonstrated 150 and 100 percent higher weight gain than routine livestock farming system, respectively. Demonstration of feedlot fattening for meat production on farmer’s field has suggested an additional income of Rs. 300-500 per sheep and goat and Rs. 700-1000 per calf over routine rearing of these ruminants.
Khan, A. G., A. Azim, M. A. Nadeem and M. A Khan. (1997). Effect of growing fattening diets on the growth performance of intensified growing Afghani lambs. Small Ruminants Res. 25: 39-42
Azim, A., A. G. Khan, M. A. Nadeem and M. A. Mirza. (2000). Substitution of wheat straw with corncobs in total mixed diets for buffalo heifers. Buffalo J. 3: 251-257