Effect of age of dam, level of feeding in late pregnancy and the changes in body weight on the performance of Arabi ewes and their lambs during lactation
Al Saigh, Mudhaffar N.R.; Al Khauzai, Allawai A.D.
Indian Journal of Animal Sciences 63(1): 56-61
ISSN/ISBN: 0367-8318 Accession: 002353299
Arabi ewes (96) were divided equally into 4 age groups, viz. 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 years and over. Each group was then divided into 3 equal subgroups of approximately similar body weight, and fed on 3 different levels of feeding (high, medium and low) 3 weeks prior to mating. During the last 6 weeks of pregnancy the ewes of each ages subgroups were subdivided into 2 groups and fed on 2 levels of feeding (700 and 500 g) of concentrate diet together with 500 g of alfalfa/ewe a day and grazed on natural pasture to determine the effect of age of dam and level of feeding in lage pregnancy on body weight changes and milk yield of ewes during different periods of lactation. Stage of lactation had a highly significant effect on body weight loss and milk yield. The loss in body weight and milk yield of ewes of aged 3.5 and 4.5 years and over were significantly higher than those of younger ewes. Body weight loss of ewes fed high level prior to lambing was insignificantly more milk than those fed low level. Milk yield and daily weight gain of lambs during most periods of lactation were significantly affected by weight of ewes and their body weight changes particularly in the first period of lactation. Milk yield was highly correlated with weight of ewes and their lambs at birth and with limb daily weight gain during the different periods of lactation.