Pregnancy and Litter Size, But Not Lamb Sex, Affect Feed Intake and Wool Production by Merino-Type Ewes
Simple SummaryWe examined whether feed intake and wool production are affected by pregnancy, litter size, or lamb sex on Merino genotype ewes. We observed that feed intake was influenced during pregnancy and lactation by litter size; whereas, wool production was influenced by litter size, but not by the sex of the lambs during pregnancy.
AbstractTwo experiments (Australia and Mexico) tested whether feed intake (FI) and wool production (WP) are affected by pregnancy (PRG), litter size (LZ), or lamb sex (LS) in Merino-type ewes. In Experiment-1, ewes were either not pregnant (NPR; n = 6), or carrying 1 (PR1; n = 7) or 3 (PR3; n = 11) fetuses, were studied in individual pens. NPR ewes had lower (p < 0.02) FI throughout PRG and lactation (LAC), except around lambing (p < 0.001). Following lambing, FI increased in PRG ewes (p < 0.001) to double the values in NPR ewes. PRG reduced WP (p < 0.001); in PR3, WP was lower than for both PR1 and NPR (p < 0.001). WP decreased during LAC and was lower in ewes rearing lambs than in NPR ewes (p < 0.001). Experiment-2 used 48 pregnant ewes (28 bearing singles and 20 bearing twins). Dam and lamb live weights (LW) and body condition (BC) were recorded from birth to weaning at 60 d, and dam fleece weight (DFW) was measured at weaning (12 months growth). WP was higher in ewes bearing and rearing single lambs than in ewes bearing twins (p < 0.001). DFW was positively (p < 0.01) related to LZ, dam LW, and BC, but not to changes in dam LW during LAC, or to lamb weight at birth or weaning, or LW gain, or LS. In conclusion, FI was affected during PRG and by LZ during LAC, whereas WP was influenced by LZ, but not LS, only during pregnancy. View Full-Text
Share & Cite This Article
Ochoa Cordero, M.; Meza Herrera, C.A.; Vázquez García, J.M.; Stewart, C.A.; Rosales Nieto, C.A.; Ochoa Alfaro, A.E.; Purvis, I.W.; Cuevas Reyes, V.; Lee Rangel, H.A.; Martin, G.B. Pregnancy and Litter Size, But Not Lamb Sex, Affect Feed Intake and Wool Production by Merino-Type Ewes. Animals 2019, 9, 214.
Ochoa Cordero M, Meza Herrera CA, Vázquez García JM, Stewart CA, Rosales Nieto CA, Ochoa Alfaro AE, Purvis IW, Cuevas Reyes V, Lee Rangel HA, Martin GB. Pregnancy and Litter Size, But Not Lamb Sex, Affect Feed Intake and Wool Production by Merino-Type Ewes. Animals. 2019; 9(5):214.Chicago/Turabian Style
Ochoa Cordero, Manuel; Meza Herrera, César A.; Vázquez García, Juan M.; Stewart, Caroline A.; Rosales Nieto, César A.; Ochoa Alfaro, Ana E.; Purvis, Ian W.; Cuevas Reyes, Venancio; Lee Rangel, Héctor A.; Martin, Graeme B. 2019. "Pregnancy and Litter Size, But Not Lamb Sex, Affect Feed Intake and Wool Production by Merino-Type Ewes." Animals 9, no. 5: 214.
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.