Concentrate supplementation during pregnancy and lactation of ewes affects the growth rate of lambs from a variety of crosses
da Costa Torreao, J.N.; Rocha, A.M.; Torreao Marques, C.A.; Bezerra, L.R.; Gottardi, F.P.; de Araujo, M.J.; de Souza Junior, E.L.; Oliveira, R.L.
Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia-Brazilian Journal of Animal Science 43(10): 544-550
ISSN/ISBN: 1806-9290 DOI: 10.1590/s1516-35982014001000006
The objective of this study was to determine how concentrate supplementation during late third gestation and lactation affects ewe and offspring performance from birth to weaning. Thirty-six ewes and their offspring (n = 32) were used. Eighteen Morada Nova and 18 Santa Ines ewes were artificially inseminated with semen from Dorper ram and distributed in a completely randomized factorial arrangement (2 x 2) consisting of two supplementation levels (5 and 15 g kg(-1) of BW) and two breeds (Morada Nova and Santa Ines) or two crosses (Dorper x Morada Nova and Dorper x Santa Ines). The ewes were weighed, their body condition was evaluated during pregnancy, and the weaning weight of the lambs at up to 70 days old was measured. There was no effect of breed or supplementation on the prolificacy or type of birth. The Santa Ines ewes had a faster rate of development, although the weight loss during lactation was lower in the Morada Nova ewes. The weight development of the Dorper x Santa Ines lambs during the maternal-dependent phase was 34 g/100 g higher than that of the other cross, with no difference in the maternal-independent phase. Dorper x Santa Ines lambs gain more weight during the 70 days of development. However, the Dorper x Morada Nova lambs show a better response in terms of production efficiency when comparing the weight of the lambs with the weight of the sheep.