Birth mass and neonatal mortality of lambs as affected by level of nutrition of the ewe

Author: H.J. Meaker and C.H. van Niekerk
Year: 1977
Issue: 1
Volume: 7
Page: 25 - 26

Fifty pregnant S.A. Mutton merino ewes, the mating of which had been synchronized, were allotted to two planes of nutrition six weeks prior to lambing. The ewes bearing multiple lambs consumed significantly (P<0,01) less feed per kg birth mass of the lambs than the ewes with single lambs. This was more apparent in the ewes on the low plane of nutrition (8,4 kg compared to 12,8 kg). Level of nutrition had no effect on the birth mass of single lambs while the birth mass of multiple lambs from the ewes on the high plane of nutrition was significantly (P<0,01) greater than those on the low plane (3,91 kg as against 3,26 kg). Neonatal mortality of single and multiple lambs from ewes on the low plane of nutrition was 18,2% and 26,7% compared with 6,7% and l0,0% from those on the high plane.

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