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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.18.0966    [Accepted] Published online March 7, 2019.
Effects of winter and spring housing on growth performance and blood metabolites of Pengbo semi-wool sheep in Tibet
Yan Mei Jin1, Xiao Qing Zhang1,*, Warwick B Badgery3, Peng Li2, Jun Xi Wu4
1Marine College, Shandong University at Weihai, Weihai 264209, China
2Institute of Grassland Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hohhot 010010, China
3New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Orange Agricultural Institute, Orange 2800, Australia
4Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Correspondence:  Xiao Qing Zhang, Tel: +86-471-4967572, Fax: +86-471-4926330, Email: zhangxiaoqing@caas.cn
Received: 17 December 2018   • Revised: 22 January 2019   • Accepted: 23 February 2019
Objective: Sixty Pengbo semi-wool sheep ewes (approximately 1.5-years-old; 31.33 ± 0.43 kg) were randomly assigned to two groups, either G (grazing) or D (dry lot feeding), to examine the effects of traditional daily grazing and dry lot feeding on performance and blood metabolites during the cold season in Tibetan Plateau.


The ewes in the G group were grazed continuously each day and housed in one shed each evening, while the ewes in the D group were housed in another shed all day. All animals were fed 400 g/day of commercial concentrate, and grass hay was available freely throughout the experimental period.


Compared with the G group, the ewes in the D group had higher (p < 0.05) live weight and weight gain. The D group ewes had greater (p < 0.05) numbers of white blood cells and platelets, while they had lower (p < 0.05) platelet-large cell ratios, cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and glutathione peroxidase, as compared with the G group ewes. Additionally, three serum metabolites, abscisic acid, xanthoxin and 3,4-dihydroxy-5-polypren, were upregulated (p < 0.05) in the D group in comparison with the G group.
In conclusion, a dry lot feeding regime during the winter and spring period will increase the productivity of sheep and improve blood physiological and biochemical profiles.
Keywords: Tibet; Cold Stress; Sheep; Winter Housing; Serum Metabolites

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