11th July, 2006: Trial work at Harper Adams University College suggests supplementing intensive lamb finisher diets with a new, natural plant-derived feed additive could be worth as much as £3 per lamb.
Lambs reared indoors on a concentrate diet supplemented with 30mg/kg of Sangrovit – an additive produced from plants of the Papaveraceae, which can boost protein availability – converted feed into liveweight gain more cost-effectively and produced more valuable carcasses.
“The college allocated 120 Charollais x (Suffolk x North of England Mule) lambs from its early lambing flock to the trial and, based on group-feeding data, the Sangrovit-fed group benefited from 5% lower feed costs, giving an average saving of £2.50 per lamb. Lambs in the groups fed the supplemented diet also produced higher value carcasses, achieving a typical premium of around 50p/lamb,” reports Dr Alan Reeve from C&H Nutrition.
“We noticed that the lambs fed the supplement were calmer and easier to control during the first two to three weeks of the trial,” comments trial co-ordinator Dr Sandra Pattinson from Harper Adams University College.
Unlike many natural supplements, Sangrovit has a well-proven mode of action. “Sangrovit contains a standardised concentration of natural alkaloid compounds, which are known to have beneficial effects when fed to animals,” Dr Reeve points out.
“It improves the feed utilisation, performance and carcass quality of ruminants by a number of mechanisms. It protects essential amino acids from breakdown to toxic amines in the gut, improving protein availability and utilisation. We also know it has an appetite and digestive stimulating effect, due to the stimulation of the hormone serotonin in the intestine.”