Colostrum quality of ewes of calm temperament is not responsible for low lamb mortality

K.W. Hart, Aprille Chadwick, F. Sebe, P. Poindron, R. Nowak, Dominique Blache

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Perinatal lamb mortality is a serious issue for the sheep industries. Starvation is implicated in many of these lamb deaths. Ewes with a calm temperament lose significantly fewer lambs than ewes with nervous temperament, particularly in the critical first 3 days after birth. Colostrum provides essential nutrition to neonatal lambs. This research set out to determine whether ewe temperament affects the quantity and quality of colostrum that ewes produce. Calm temperament was found to have an influence on the viscosity of colostrum 6 h after birth. High variability in all aspects of colostrum production were found in the study and may be a limiting factor in lamb survival in certain circumstances. There is little evidence, however, to suggest a strong association with ewe temperament and is therefore unlikely to explain the lower lamb mortality that is reported to occur among calm ewes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)827-829
    JournalAustralian Journal of Experimental Agriculture
    Volume46
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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