Authors: Ayşen FIRAT, Aysel ÖZPINAR
Abstract: In this study, the changes in plasma glucose, urea, bilirubin and AST levels, the effects of feeding and litter size on these levels and the correlations between these parameters were investigated in pregnancy and first lactation periods of ewes. 74 Türkgeldi ewes served as materials. They were divided into two groups. One was pastured until 15 days before parturition, and other was held in pen throughout the treatment period. Blood samples were obtained from each ewe by jugular venipuncture during pregnancy fortnightly at parturition and 4 and 15 days after parturition, and the plasma glucose, urea, bilirubin and AST concentrations were determined. Plasma glucose concentration was higher in pregnant ewes held in pen than in pastured pregnant ewes and was lower in pregnant ewes than in nonpregnant ewes. Plasma urea concentration was lower in pregnant ewes held in pen than in pastured pregnant ewes. Plasma bilirubin concentration was found to be higher in pastured pregnant ewes than in ewes held in pen in first and second pregnancy periods and in parturition, and was found to be higher in pregnant ewes than in non-pregnant ewes. There was no difference in plasma AST activity between pregnant ewes in pen and at pasture. Negative correlations were determined between plasma glucose and urea and between plasma glucose and bilirubin levels, and positive correlations between plasma urea and AST levels before parturition and between plasma glucose and AST levels after parturition in pregnant ewes.
Keywords: Ewe, pregnancy, lactation, glucose, urea, bilirubin, AST