Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




The aim of this study was to examine the effects of barley-vetch hay and barley-vetch silage on liveweight change in pregnant sheep and birthweight in lambs and to determine the optimal form of barley-vetch roughage usage in sheep feeding. Forty-eight (Kıvırcık x Akkaraman (G1) sheep were blocked according to age and randomly distributed to three groups: barley-vetch hay (H, n = 16), barleyvetch silage (S, n = 16), and the control group (C, n = 16). The H group was fed barley-vetch hay ad libitum and limited concentrate, the S group was fed barley-vetch silage ad libitum and limited concentrate, and the C group was fed barleygrass straw + alfalfa hay (50/50%) and limited concentrate feed. The trial was started in the final trimester period of the pregnancy and lasted 90 days. Liveweight and feed intake of the pregnant sheep were recorded in the last period of pregnancy. The liveweight of the lambs were measured at lambing and then on d 15 and 30. There is no diet effect on liveweights measure 1 and 2 months after lambing (p > 0.05). The liveweight value of sheep at lambing was 67.01 ± 1.32, 64.07 ± 1.54, and 64.89 ± 1.48 kg for the groups H, S, and C, respectively. The birth type was significant on birth weight (p < 0.05). Lamb liveweights on d 15 and 30 for the group H was greater than those for the group S (p < 0.05). Lambs' birth weight and weights on d 15 and 30 were 4.94 ± 0.13, 4.44 ± 0.15, and 4.77 ± 0.17 kg; 9.30 ± 030, 8.03 ± 0.30, and 8.94 ± 0.34, 13.36 ± 0.43, 10.85 ± 0.56, and 12.37 ± 041 for groups respectively. In conclusion, barley-vetch mixture can be used as hay and silage in pregnant sheep feeding, being hay superior to silage.

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