Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




Optimal ewe health and well-being favors good reproductive performance and, as a consequence, assures good growth of the offspring. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate three production systems using commercial concentrate supplementation on Italian ryegrass pasture (Lolium multiflorum) on the metabolic profile and body condition score (BCS) of ewes, from those recently postpartum to 75 days in lactation. The total lamb production per ewe was also evaluated. Eighteen adult twin-bearing ewes, Texel x Ile de France crossbreeds, and their offspring were divided into three groups: without supplementation - control (CON); supplemented ewes and lambs at 1% of body weight (SEL); and creep-feeding supplemented lambs at 1% of body weight (CSL). The glucose concentration was higher for the SEL group (P < 0.05) and the SEL group showed less BCS variation from the first to the last evaluation, which suggests better nutritional adjustment in that system. The SEL and CSL groups showed the highest total lamb production per ewe, differing from CON (P < 0.05). These results suggest that the supplementation of ewes and lambs on ryegrass pasture allows the highest performance of both categories compared to exclusive supplementation of lambs and the animals exclusively on pasture.

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