Effects of Amaferm supplementation on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and blood and milk constituents of sheep
Campbell, Shawn Larry
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The objectives of this research were to: (1) determine the effects of feeding Amaferm 60 d prepartum to ewes (n = 60) through weaning on ewe and lamb blood glucose, BUN, and blood and milk IgG concentrations, as well as milk composition (0-36 h postpartum). (2) To determine if sex of lamb, type of birth (single, twin, or triplet), and ewe age (3-7) affects blood glucose, BUN, and blood and milk IgG concentrations, as well as milk composition (0-36 h postpartum). (3) To determine the effects of feeding Amaferm 60 d prepartum to ewes through weaning on ewe and lamb body weight gain, body condition score, and milk yield. (4) To determine if sex of lamb, type of birth (single, twin, or triplet), and ewe age (3-7) affects ewe and lamb body weight gain, body condition score, and milk yield. (5) To determine differences between breed and treatments for growth performance, feed efficiency and carcass characteristics of lambs either fed a 14% finishing control diet or a similar diet containing Amaferm (0.5 g/hd/d). (6) To determine if any differences exist between breed and treatment for BUN, glucose, and IgG concentrations, and growth performance by lambs between birth and weaning. (7) To compare three finishing diets containing cotton byproducts as the source of roughage. An 8% starch-coated gin trash product (EGT), ground gin trash (GGT) (3/4" screen), and cottonseed hulls (CSH) were used for the roughage sources in three finishing diets. Amaferm was added to the diet of two pens, whereas the other two pens were fed the control diet. The diets consisted of 0.91 kg of com and 0.23 kg of cottonseed meal (CSM) daily or CSM plus Amaferm (14.17 g per ewe) for the experimental groups. Lambs (n = 47 for control n = 48 for Amaferm) were given free access to a 16% CP creep feed after they were 10 days old. Ewe milk IgG was higher (P < 0.01) for all times (0-36 h postpartum) for the control compared to the Amaferm fed ewes. Amaferm supplemented ewes (10.64%) had higher (P < 0.001) milk fat than control ewes (6.49%) at parturition. Milk lactose was higher (P < 0.05) for ewes on the control diet compared to the Amaferm diet (6-36 h postpartum). Lamb blood IgG did not differ P > 0.05) between treatments (0-36 h postpartum). Supplementing Amaferm to ewes increased milk fat at parturition, but decreased milk IgG and Lactose concentrations (0-36 h postpartum). Lamb IgG concentrations (0-36 h postpartum) were higher (P < 0.05) for Dorpcroix x Rambouillet (24.1 mg/mL) compared with the Rambouillet breed (21.2 mg/mL). Interactions between breed x treatment and breed x time occurred for BUN concentrations (0-36 h postpartum). Body condifion score 39 d postpartum was higher (P < 0.05) for Amaferm (2.65) compared with control (2.43) ewes. Supplementing Amaferm to ewes and lambs did not affect (P > 0.05) any other ewe or lamb BW gain, body condition score, or milk yield. Ewe body condition score BCS from parturition to weaning was higher (P < 0.05) for ewes nursing singles than ewes nursing twins, while Ewe BCS was lowest (P < 0.05) for ewes nursing triplets. Ewe BCS and BW through the entire study, and lamb weaning weight differed (P < 0.05) with ewe age (3-yr to 7-yr). Four-week milk yield differed (P < 0.05) for ewes nursing singles compared to ewes nursing twin or triplets. Supplementing Amaferm had very little effect on ewe and lamb performance or milk yield, however this study provided useful information about ewe age, and type of birth, and how they effect ewe BCS and BW, and lamb BW. Crossing Dorpcroix x Rambouillet breeds increased blood IgG concentrations (0-36 h postpartum) and tended to increase blood glucose concentrations (0-36 h postpartum) compared to the Rambouillet breed.