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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2004;17(10): 1395-1399.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2004.1395    Published online January 1, 2004.
The Effect of Dietary Fat Inclusion on Nutrient Intake and Reproductive Performance in Postpartum Awassi Ewes
H. M. Oqla, R. T. Kridli, S. G. Haddad
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary fat inclusion on nutrient intake, body weight, milk production, return to estrus, pregnancy and lambing of winter-lambing, postpartum Awassi ewes. Thirty multiparous, winter-lambing Awassi ewes (body weight=51 7.0 kg) were randomly assigned to three dietary treatments (n=10) for 62 days using a completely randomized design. Experimental diets were isonitrogenous, and were formulated to contain 0 (CON), 2.5 (MF), and 5% (HF) added fat, and 33% of the dietary crude protein (CP) as undegradable intake protein (UIP). On day 26 postpartum (day 0=parturition), ewes and their lambs were housed in individual pens for 28 days. Feed offered and refused was recorded daily. At the end of this period, ewes and their lambs within each treatment were combined into one group and fed their respective diet ad libitum. One fertile Awassi ram fitted with a marking harness was allowed with each group for 34 days. No significant (p>0.05) differences in dry matter intake, organic matter intake, and crude protein intake were observed for ewes fed the three experimental diets. No difference was observed in metabolizable energy intake (MEI) for ewes fed the CON and the MF diets (average 8.3 Mcal/d) diet. However, ewes fed the HF diet had greater (p<0.05) MEI compared with the rest of the treatments. Ewe body weights increased throughout the study, unaffected by the experimental diets. No significant differences in milk production were found among ewes fed the three experimental diets. No significant differences were observed in pregnancy rate (6/10, 5/10, 6/10 for CON, MF and HF diets, respectively), lambing rate and the number of lambs per ewe among the three treatments. These results indicate that fat inclusion to high concentrate diets does not improve postpartum reproductive performance of well-fed, winter-lambing Awassi ewes.
Keywords: Dietary Fat; Suckling; Awassi; Sheep; Reproduction

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