Pregnancy and litter size, but not lamb sex, affect feed intake and wool production by merino-type ewes

Manuel Ochoa Cordero, César A.Meza Herrera, Juan M.Vázquez García, Caroline A. Stewart, César A.Rosales Nieto, Ana E.Ochoa Alfaro, Ian W. Purvis, Venancio Cuevas Reyes, Héctor A.Lee Rangel, Graeme B. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Simple Summary: We examined whether feed intake and wool production are affected by pregnancy, litter size, or lamb sex on Merino genotype ewes. We observed that feed intake was influenced during pregnancy and lactation by litter size; whereas, wool production was influenced by litter size, but not by the sex of the lambs during pregnancy. Abstract: Two experiments (Australia and Mexico) tested whether feed intake (FI) and wool production (WP) are affected by pregnancy (PRG), litter size (LZ), or lamb sex (LS) in Merino-type ewes. In Experiment-1, ewes were either not pregnant (NPR; n = 6), or carrying 1 (PR1; n = 7) or 3 (PR3; n = 11) fetuses, were studied in individual pens. NPR ewes had lower (p < 0.02) FI throughout PRG and lactation (LAC), except around lambing (p < 0.001). Following lambing, FI increased in PRG ewes (p < 0.001) to double the values in NPR ewes. PRG reduced WP (p < 0.001); in PR3, WP was lower than for both PR1 and NPR (p < 0.001). WP decreased during LAC and was lower in ewes rearing lambs than in NPR ewes (p < 0.001). Experiment-2 used 48 pregnant ewes (28 bearing singles and 20 bearing twins). Dam and lamb live weights (LW) and body condition (BC) were recorded from birth to weaning at 60 d, and dam fleece weight (DFW) was measured at weaning (12 months growth). WP was higher in ewes bearing and rearing single lambs than in ewes bearing twins (p < 0.001). DFW was positively (p < 0.01) related to LZ, dam LW, and BC, but not to changes in dam LW during LAC, or to lamb weight at birth or weaning, or LW gain, or LS. In conclusion, FI was affected during PRG and by LZ during LAC, whereas WP was influenced by LZ, but not LS, only during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number214
JournalAnimals
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

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wool production
Litter Size
Wool
Merino
litter size
ewes
lambs
feed intake
pregnancy
Pregnancy
gender
Lactation
lactation
Weaning
Weights and Measures
fleece
lambing
Body Weight
body condition
body weight

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Cordero, M. O., Herrera, C. A. M., García, J. M. V., Stewart, C. A., Nieto, C. A. R., Alfaro, A. E. O., ... Martin, G. B. (2019). Pregnancy and litter size, but not lamb sex, affect feed intake and wool production by merino-type ewes. Animals, 9(5), [214]. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050214
Cordero, Manuel Ochoa ; Herrera, César A.Meza ; García, Juan M.Vázquez ; Stewart, Caroline A. ; Nieto, César A.Rosales ; Alfaro, Ana E.Ochoa ; Purvis, Ian W. ; Reyes, Venancio Cuevas ; Rangel, Héctor A.Lee ; Martin, Graeme B. / Pregnancy and litter size, but not lamb sex, affect feed intake and wool production by merino-type ewes. In: Animals. 2019 ; Vol. 9, No. 5.
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abstract = "Simple Summary: We examined whether feed intake and wool production are affected by pregnancy, litter size, or lamb sex on Merino genotype ewes. We observed that feed intake was influenced during pregnancy and lactation by litter size; whereas, wool production was influenced by litter size, but not by the sex of the lambs during pregnancy. Abstract: Two experiments (Australia and Mexico) tested whether feed intake (FI) and wool production (WP) are affected by pregnancy (PRG), litter size (LZ), or lamb sex (LS) in Merino-type ewes. In Experiment-1, ewes were either not pregnant (NPR; n = 6), or carrying 1 (PR1; n = 7) or 3 (PR3; n = 11) fetuses, were studied in individual pens. NPR ewes had lower (p < 0.02) FI throughout PRG and lactation (LAC), except around lambing (p < 0.001). Following lambing, FI increased in PRG ewes (p < 0.001) to double the values in NPR ewes. PRG reduced WP (p < 0.001); in PR3, WP was lower than for both PR1 and NPR (p < 0.001). WP decreased during LAC and was lower in ewes rearing lambs than in NPR ewes (p < 0.001). Experiment-2 used 48 pregnant ewes (28 bearing singles and 20 bearing twins). Dam and lamb live weights (LW) and body condition (BC) were recorded from birth to weaning at 60 d, and dam fleece weight (DFW) was measured at weaning (12 months growth). WP was higher in ewes bearing and rearing single lambs than in ewes bearing twins (p < 0.001). DFW was positively (p < 0.01) related to LZ, dam LW, and BC, but not to changes in dam LW during LAC, or to lamb weight at birth or weaning, or LW gain, or LS. In conclusion, FI was affected during PRG and by LZ during LAC, whereas WP was influenced by LZ, but not LS, only during pregnancy.",
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Cordero, MO, Herrera, CAM, García, JMV, Stewart, CA, Nieto, CAR, Alfaro, AEO, Purvis, IW, Reyes, VC, Rangel, HAL & Martin, GB 2019, 'Pregnancy and litter size, but not lamb sex, affect feed intake and wool production by merino-type ewes' Animals, vol. 9, no. 5, 214. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050214

Pregnancy and litter size, but not lamb sex, affect feed intake and wool production by merino-type ewes. / Cordero, Manuel Ochoa; Herrera, César A.Meza; García, Juan M.Vázquez; Stewart, Caroline A.; Nieto, César A.Rosales; Alfaro, Ana E.Ochoa; Purvis, Ian W.; Reyes, Venancio Cuevas; Rangel, Héctor A.Lee; Martin, Graeme B.

In: Animals, Vol. 9, No. 5, 214, 01.05.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Pregnancy and litter size, but not lamb sex, affect feed intake and wool production by merino-type ewes

AU - Cordero, Manuel Ochoa

AU - Herrera, César A.Meza

AU - García, Juan M.Vázquez

AU - Stewart, Caroline A.

AU - Nieto, César A.Rosales

AU - Alfaro, Ana E.Ochoa

AU - Purvis, Ian W.

AU - Reyes, Venancio Cuevas

AU - Rangel, Héctor A.Lee

AU - Martin, Graeme B.

PY - 2019/5/1

Y1 - 2019/5/1

N2 - Simple Summary: We examined whether feed intake and wool production are affected by pregnancy, litter size, or lamb sex on Merino genotype ewes. We observed that feed intake was influenced during pregnancy and lactation by litter size; whereas, wool production was influenced by litter size, but not by the sex of the lambs during pregnancy. Abstract: Two experiments (Australia and Mexico) tested whether feed intake (FI) and wool production (WP) are affected by pregnancy (PRG), litter size (LZ), or lamb sex (LS) in Merino-type ewes. In Experiment-1, ewes were either not pregnant (NPR; n = 6), or carrying 1 (PR1; n = 7) or 3 (PR3; n = 11) fetuses, were studied in individual pens. NPR ewes had lower (p < 0.02) FI throughout PRG and lactation (LAC), except around lambing (p < 0.001). Following lambing, FI increased in PRG ewes (p < 0.001) to double the values in NPR ewes. PRG reduced WP (p < 0.001); in PR3, WP was lower than for both PR1 and NPR (p < 0.001). WP decreased during LAC and was lower in ewes rearing lambs than in NPR ewes (p < 0.001). Experiment-2 used 48 pregnant ewes (28 bearing singles and 20 bearing twins). Dam and lamb live weights (LW) and body condition (BC) were recorded from birth to weaning at 60 d, and dam fleece weight (DFW) was measured at weaning (12 months growth). WP was higher in ewes bearing and rearing single lambs than in ewes bearing twins (p < 0.001). DFW was positively (p < 0.01) related to LZ, dam LW, and BC, but not to changes in dam LW during LAC, or to lamb weight at birth or weaning, or LW gain, or LS. In conclusion, FI was affected during PRG and by LZ during LAC, whereas WP was influenced by LZ, but not LS, only during pregnancy.

AB - Simple Summary: We examined whether feed intake and wool production are affected by pregnancy, litter size, or lamb sex on Merino genotype ewes. We observed that feed intake was influenced during pregnancy and lactation by litter size; whereas, wool production was influenced by litter size, but not by the sex of the lambs during pregnancy. Abstract: Two experiments (Australia and Mexico) tested whether feed intake (FI) and wool production (WP) are affected by pregnancy (PRG), litter size (LZ), or lamb sex (LS) in Merino-type ewes. In Experiment-1, ewes were either not pregnant (NPR; n = 6), or carrying 1 (PR1; n = 7) or 3 (PR3; n = 11) fetuses, were studied in individual pens. NPR ewes had lower (p < 0.02) FI throughout PRG and lactation (LAC), except around lambing (p < 0.001). Following lambing, FI increased in PRG ewes (p < 0.001) to double the values in NPR ewes. PRG reduced WP (p < 0.001); in PR3, WP was lower than for both PR1 and NPR (p < 0.001). WP decreased during LAC and was lower in ewes rearing lambs than in NPR ewes (p < 0.001). Experiment-2 used 48 pregnant ewes (28 bearing singles and 20 bearing twins). Dam and lamb live weights (LW) and body condition (BC) were recorded from birth to weaning at 60 d, and dam fleece weight (DFW) was measured at weaning (12 months growth). WP was higher in ewes bearing and rearing single lambs than in ewes bearing twins (p < 0.001). DFW was positively (p < 0.01) related to LZ, dam LW, and BC, but not to changes in dam LW during LAC, or to lamb weight at birth or weaning, or LW gain, or LS. In conclusion, FI was affected during PRG and by LZ during LAC, whereas WP was influenced by LZ, but not LS, only during pregnancy.

KW - Lamb sex

KW - Litter size

KW - Merino type sheep

KW - Wool growth

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Cordero MO, Herrera CAM, García JMV, Stewart CA, Nieto CAR, Alfaro AEO et al. Pregnancy and litter size, but not lamb sex, affect feed intake and wool production by merino-type ewes. Animals. 2019 May 1;9(5). 214. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9050214