POST WEANING FEEDING MANAGEMENT AND PERFORMANCE OF MERINO EWES GRAZING ON NATURAL AND IMPROVED PASTURES AT MATING SEASON

MANEJO ALIMENTAR PÓS-DESMAME E PERFORMANCE DE OVELHAS MERINO EM PASTAGENS NATURAIS E ARTIFICIAIS NA ÉPOCA DE ENCARNEIRAMENTO

Gianni Bianchi Juan Burgueño Daniel Fernández Abella Gustavo Garibotto Rosario Cáceres Rómulo Cesar Guillermo Jones About the authors

In the uruguayan Basalt region, the reproductive performance of 300 Merino ewes and the effect of 3 post-weaning feeding managements (PWFM: I: 1.2 cm height of available forage and 16 ewes/ha; II: 2.03 cm height of available forage and 5 ewes/ha; III: 2.5cm height of available forage and 1 ewe/ha) as well as 2 feeding levels before and during the breeding season (FLM: native pastures: green DM/ha: 883kg, CP: 114g/kg DM, NDF: 781g/kg DM and improved pastures: DM /ha: 1270kg, CP: 194g/kg DM, NDF: 598g/kg DM) were studied with a factorial arrangement of treatments. The PWFM extended for 70 days, ewes were mated in the period from 13/4/96 to 13/5/96 and FLM were applied for 30 days, starting 15 days before beginning of breeding. There were not differences on the ovulation rate (P>0.05); however, the P values might indicate some effect of the treatments. The number of born lambs/ewe served increased with the ovulation rate because the higher number of ovulations balanced their less viability, individually considered. Actually, the number of born lambs/ewe served was higher with animals coming from PWFM III (1.18, 1.11 and 0.96, PWFM III, II and I, respectively; P = 0.02) and with the animals grazing on improved pastures at mating period (1.13 and 1.03, improved pastures and natural pastures, respectively; P = 0.10), were those which showed slight higher ovulation rate.

body condition; mating; reproduction


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