Effect of Flushing on the Growth, Body Condition Score and Reproductive Efficiency of Corriedale Ewes during Breeding Season and Gestation Period

Document Type : Research Article

Authors

1 Department of LivestockProductionManagement, Faculty of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, SKUAST-K Shuhama, Auluteng, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

2 Departmentof Animal Husbandry, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, India

3 Department of LivestockProducts Technology, Faculty of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, SKUAST-K Shuhama, Auluteng, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

4 Department of Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, SKUAST-K Shuhama, Auluteng, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Abstract

The present study was aimed to improve the reproductive performance of Corriedale ewes by nutritional flushing. Forty Corriedale ewes were divided into four treatment groups (TC, T1, T2 and T3) with 10 ewes in each group (n=10). At the beginning of the breeding season extra feeding (flushing regime) was started for approximately 34 days such that two estrus cycles were covered. First group i.e. TC (control) received no concentrate supplement, only grazing for 6-8 h was practiced. The treatment groups were fed concentrate supplement of 300 g/ewe/d (T1), 400 g/ewe/d (T2) and 500 g/ewe/d (T3) for 34 days in addition to grazing for 6-8 h. Changes in body weight were significantly (P≤0.05) higher in the ewes fed 500 g concentrate than TC and T1 while no significant difference was found between the other groups in respect of the body weight gain of the ewes. T2 and T3 groups revealed significantly (P≤0.05) higher body condition score than that of control and between T2 and T3 groups than that of T1 group, however no significant difference between Control and T1 groups as well as between T2 and T3 groups were observed, respectively. The tupping percentage recorded in the ewes of all the four groups was 100% and the lambing percentage observed was found to be 70%, 80%, 90% and 100% in TC, T1, T2 and T3 groups, respectively. An increase (P≤0.05) was observed in the birth weight of lambs with highest average weight observed in T3 group followed by T2 group, T1 group ewes and control.The study revealed that the body weight of ewes, dam performance during their gestation period, lambing rate and birth weight of lambs of Corriedale ewes showed considerable improvement due to nutritional flushing. The study also indicated that among all four treatment groups, T3 showed significant improvement in body weight and reproductive efficiency as a result of flushing supplementation during mating season. Hence it was concluded that feeding 500 g of concentrate in addition to sufficient grazing is ideal feeding regimen as compared to other treatment groups in order to achieve a higher body condition score and reproductive performance.

Keywords


Abboud M.G. (2007). Effect of different body condition score on the reproductive performance of Awassi sheep. MS Thesis. Humboldt Univ., Berlin.
Afonson J. and Thompson J.M. (1996). Changes in body composition of sheep selected for high and low back fat thickness during periods of ad libitum and maintenance feeding. Anim. Sci. 63, 395-406.
ARC. (1990). Agricultural Research Council The Nutrient Requirements of Ruminant Livestock. Technical review by an agricultural research council working party, UK.
Bill M. (1997). Nutrition of the Ewe Flock. Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs.
Brink D.R. (1990). Effects of body weight gain in early pregnancy on feed intake, body condition in late pregnancy and lamb weights. Small Rumin. Res. 3, 421-424.
Butler W.R. (2000). Nutritional interaction with reproductive performance in dairy cattle. J. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 60, 449-457.
Chaturvedi O.H., Mann J.S. and Karim S.A. (2009). Production performance of ewes grazing on community rangeland supplemented with high energy concentrate during late gestation.Indian J. Small Rumin. 15(1), 144-148.
Crocker K.P., Johns M.A. and Johnson T.J. (1985). Reproductive performance of Merino ewes supplemented with sweet lupin seed in southern western Australia. AustralianJ. Exp. Agric. 25, 21-26.
El-Hag F.M., Fadlalla B. and Elmadih M.A. (1998). Effect of strategic supplementary feeding on ewe productivity under range conditions in North Kordofan, Sudan.Small Rumin. Res. 30(1), 67-71.
Forgarty N.M., Hall D.G. and Holst P.J. (1992). The effect of nutrition in mid pregnancy and ewe live weight change on birth weight and management on lamb survival in highly fecund ewes. AustralianJ.Exp. Agric. 32, 1-10.
Gunn R.G., Smith W.F., Senior A.J. Sim D.A. and Hunter E.A. (1991). Pre-mating herbage intake in reproductive performance of North Country Cheviot ewes in different levels of body condition. Anim. Prod. 52, 149-156.
Helali I., Abdel-Hakim N.F., Safwat M. and Salama R. (1990). Effect of age of ewe and level of nutrition on fertility and productivity in Barki ewes. EgyptianJ. Anim. Prod. 27, 241-258.
Islam R., Bhat A.S., Sarkar T.K., Singh P.K. and Khan M.Z. (2007). Effect of flushing on reproductive performance of Corriedale ewes. Indian J. Small Rumin. 13, 1-7.
Kassem R., Owen J.B., Fadel I. and Whitaker C.J. (1989). Aspects of fertility and survival of Awassi sheep under semi-arid conditions. Res. Dev. Agric. 6, 161-168.
Kerr S.R. (2006). Nutritional Flushing of Small Ruminants. Washington State University Extension Director, Klickitat County.
Lassoueda S.N., Rekik M., Mahouachi M. and Ben-Hamoudac M. (2004). The effect of nutrition prior to and during mating on ovulation rate, reproductive wastage, and lambing rate in three sheep breeds.Small Rumin. Res. 52(2), 117-125.
Martin G. and Walkden B. (1995). Nutritional influences on reproduction in mature male sheep and goats. J. Reprod. Fertil. 49, 1039-1049.
Meyer A.M., Reed J.J., Neville T.L., Taylor J.B., Hammer C.J., Reynolds L.P., Redmer D.A., Vonnahme K.A. and Caton J.S. (2010). Effects of plane of nutrition and selenium supply during gestation on ewe and neonatal offspring performance, body composition, and serum selenium. J. Anim. Sci. 88, 1786-1800.
Mukasa-Mugerwaa E., Saida A.N., Lahlou-Kassia A., Sherington J. and Mutigab E.R. (1994). Birth weight as a risk factor for perinatal lamb mortality and the effects of stage of pregnant ewe supplementation and gestation weight gain in Ethiopian Menz sheep. Prevent. Vet. Med. 19(1), 45-56.
Narayan K., Rajapandi S. and Devesh Gour A.S. (2003). A note on flushing on reproductive performance of Bharat Merino ewes. Indian Vet. J. 80(11), 1187-1188.
NRC. (1985). Nutrient Requirements of Sheep. 6TH Ed. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, USA.
Rachid B., Greame B., Colin L., Margaret A. and Peter J. (1997). Role of glucose, fatty acids and protein in regulation of testicular growth and secretion of gonadotrophin, prolactin, somatotrophin and insulin in the mature ram. Reprod. Fertil. J. 9, 515-524.
Rafiq M., Khan M.F. and Aujla K.M. (2003). Economic benefits of flushing and supplemental feeding of salt-range ewes on Pothwar Ranges of Pakistan.Pakistan J. Biol. Sci. 6(2), 115-121.
Rafiq M., Sultani M.I., Munir M. and Arshid A. (1990). Study of reproductive potential of Baluchi sheep on ranges in Baluchistan. Am. J. Agri. Sci. 3, 177-182.
Rafique S., Munir M., Sultani M.I. and Rehman A. (1991). Effect of supplementation on the performance of Baluchi ewes grazing on native rangelands in high Baluchistan. Am. J. Agri. Sci. 4, 333-339.
Riitta S.C. and Lauri J. (2002). Effect of nutritional flushing on the productivity of Finnish Landrace ewes. Small Rumin. Res. 43, 75-83.
Robinson J.J. (1996). Nutrition and reproduction. J. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 65, 157-170.
Russel A.J.F., Foot J.Z., White I.R. and Davies G.J. (1981). The effect of weight at mating and of nutrition during mid-pregnancy on the birth weight of lambs from primiparous ewes. J. Agric. Sci. 97, 723-727.
Sabra H.A. and Hassan S.S. (2008). Effect of new regime of nutritional flushing on reproductive performances of Egyptian Barki ewes. Global Vet. 1, 28-31.
Santos G.M.G., Silva K.C.F., Casimiro T.R., Costa M.C., Mori R.M., Mizubuti I.Y., Moriera F.B. and Seneda M.M. (2009). Reproductive performance of ewes mated in the spring when given nutritional supplements to enhance energy levels. Anim. Reprod. 6, 422-427.
Scales G.H., Burton R.N. and Moss R.A. (1986). Lamb mortality, birth weight and nutrition in late pregnancy. New Zealand J. Agric. Res. 29, 75-82.
Smith J.F. (1985). Protein, energy and ovulation rate. Genet. Reprod. Sheep. 20, 349-359.
Thomas D.L., Thomford P.J., Crickman J.G., Cobb A.R. and Dziuk P.J. (1987). Effects of plane of nutrition and phenobarbital during the pre-mating period on reproduction in ewes fed differentially during the summer and mated in the fall. J. Anim. Sci. 64,1144-1152.
Thompson J.M. and Meyer H.H. (1994). Body Condition Scoring of Sheep EC 1433. Oregon State University, Extension Service.
Thomson E.F. and Bahhady F.A. (1988). A note on live weight at mating on fertility of Awassi ewes in semi-arid north-west Syria. Anim. Prod. 47, 505-508.
Torell D.T., Hume I.D. and Weir W.C. (1974). Factors affecting blood urea nitrogen and its use as an index of the nutritional status of sheep. J. Anim. Sci. 39, 435-440.
West K.S., Meyer H.H. and Nawaz M. (1991). Effect of differential ewe condition at mating and early post mating embryo survival. J. Anim. Sci. 69, 3931-3938.