Growth Performance and Metabolic Profile of Chios Lambs Prevented from Colostrum Intake and Artificially Reared on a Calf Milk Replacer


Abstract: This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of artificial rearing on growth performance and metabolism of lambs as measured by some key blood metabolite parameters. A total of 20 Chios lambs were used. Newborn twin and triplet lambs were divided into 2 groups. The first-born lambs of twins or triplets formed the artificially reared (AR) group. The other lambs formed the ewe-reared (ER) group. Blood samples were taken from lambs of both groups during the first 24 h after birth and at weeks 1, 2, and 3. Effects of rearing method on plasma total protein, albumin, globulin, glucose, urea, total lipids concentrations, survival rate, body weight, and average daily gain (ADG) were assessed. Body weight and ADG were significantly affected by rearing methods (P < 0.001). Plasma total protein and globulin concentrations of the lambs in the ER group were significantly higher than in the AR group at 18 and 24 h, and at weeks 1 and 2. Plasma urea concentrations at 18 and 24 h, and plasma total lipid concentrations at 24 h and at week 1 were significantly higher in the ER group than in the AR group. In conclusion, our results indicated that artificial rearing of lambs with calf milk replacer decreased survivability and inhibited growth rates.

Keywords: Artificial rearing, newborn lambs, growth performance, metabolic profile

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