Article Text

The effect of different planes of nutrition before mating on the reproductive performance of Masham ewes
  1. PS Bramley,
  2. HL Denehy and
  3. JE Newton

Abstract

A total of 69 ewes were fed either on a low nutritional plane for six weeks prior to mating and for four weeks postmating (LL), or on a low nutritional plane for three weeks and then on a high nutritional plane (LH), or on a high nutritional plane throughout (HH). Ewes at mating were 49.3, 63.7 and 70.6 kg liveweight respectively and their body condition scores were 1.6, 2.9 and 3.8. There was a significant difference in ovulation rate: LL = 1.53, LH = 2.13 and HH = 2.27, and in lambing per cent: 77, 150 and 186 respectively. Under the system of indoor feeding practised at mating, there was no economic advantage to be gained from flushing, but normally ewes would be flushed outside.

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