The influence of different levels of energy and protein in the ration on pregnant karakul ewes and the pelts of their new born lambs
Four groups of Karakul ewes were fed on the following four rations during pregnancy:
High energy/high protein
High energy/low protein
Low energy/high protein
Low energy/low protein
The high level refers to approximately two times maintenance and the low level to approximately maintenance requirements for ewes during the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. The results indicate that changes in energy level produced a greater effect than changes in protein level on both the live masses of pregnant karakul ewes and the economic more important pelt traits of their new-born lambs. A high protein level combined with a low energy level had detrimental effects on the curl type and pattern excellence of karakul pelts. A high energy level, on the other hand, effected a reduction of curl development and improved pattern excellence when fed in combination with a low protein level. There were no differences in quality of pelts between the high energy/high protein and the low energy/low protein rations.