Effect of level of intake during the milk-feeding period on post-weaning growth in lambs

Manso, T.; Mantecon, A.R.; Lavin, P.; Giraldez, F.J.; Pelaez, R.; Ovejero, F.J.

Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences 5(4): 317-325


ISSN/ISBN: 1230-1388
Accession: 002814458

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Twenty four Churra lambs from multiple births were assigned to a 3 times 2 factorial design, with three levels of milk intake (837-L, 1046-M and 1255-H kJ gross energy per kg metabolic body weight per day) and two sexes (males and females). The effects of these factors on growth rate during the milk-feeding period (0 to 30 days), weaning period (31 to 37 days) and post-weaning period (38 to 77 days) were studied. The live weight gain during the milk-feeding period was statistically different (P lt 0.001) for the three levels of milk intake (66, 109 and 127 g/day). Dry matter, crude protein and gross energy digestibilities of the milk substitute were lower (P lt 0.05) for the H level of intake than the L and M levels. Weight losses during the weaning period were inversely related to the pre-weaning levels of milk intake. The live weight gains were not statistically different between male and female lambs during either the pre- or post-weaning periods. Post-weaning daily live weight gains were 34.4, 31.1 and 27.1 g/kg-0.75 for L, M and H levels of milk intake respectively (P lt 0.001).