Effects of Various Ages of Weaning on Growth Characteristics, Survival Rate and Some Body Measurements of Awassi Lambs

Aksakal, V.; Macit, M.; Esenbuga, N.

Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances 8(8): 1624-1630

2009


ISSN/ISBN: 1680-5593
Accession: 070613868

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Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effect of various ages (45, 60 and 75 days) of weaning on growth, survival rate and some body characteristics in Awassi lambs. Following weaning, the lambs were separated from their dams and taken to the pasture and were fed with concentrate including 15.3% crude protein in the evenings in addition to the pasture. The live weights and daily weight gains of the lambs were determined by weighing at 14 days intervals starting from day 45 till the end of pasture. Five females from each group were used in the determination of body measurements. In the study, in the lambs weaned at the age of 45 (group I), 60 (group II) and 75 (group III) days old; birth weight and live weights on days 45, 60, 75, 120 and 2 10 (end of pasture) were calculated on average as 4.58, 11.58, 13.95, 15.95, 21.54 and 34.44 kg, respectively and in the significance checks performed, it was identified that there was no significant (p<0.05) difference between the groups except for the day 210 live weight. There was not any difference observed between the groups in terms of Daily Live Weight Gain (DLWG). It was identified that the effect of the age of dam on live weight in lambs was insignificant in all periods that the effect of type of birth was very significant (p<0.05) except for the day 120 live weight and that the effect of sex was significant (p<0.05) in birth, day 60, 75 and 210 weights and very significant (p<0.01) in day 120 live weight. On looking at the survival rate characteristics, it was observed that this was lower in the group weaned at 45 days old on days 120 and 210 at a statistically significant (p<0.05) level compared to the other two groups. Furthermore, it was identified that singletons exhibited a higher survival rate at a statistically very significant (p<0.01) level compared to twins. The effect of weaning at various ages on the body measurements was found to be insignificant except for the chest width measured on day 210. Consequently, it may be said that taking into consideration the live weight gains and survival rate characteristics of Awassi lambs, the most suitable weaning age may be arranged as 60 days old.