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Effect of Natural and Artificial Sucking on Perfomance and Mortality of Newborn Assaf Lambs

Effect of Natural and Artificial Sucking on Perfomance and Mortality of Newborn Assaf Lambs

Wael Halawa1, Raed M. Al-Atiyat2*, Jamal Abo Omar1, Faisal S. Rashaydeh3, Fath Ullah4, Shakirullah5 and Berkant Ismail Yildiz6

1Animal Production, Faculty of Graduate Studies An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
2Genetics and Biotechnology, Department of Animal Science, Mutah University, Karak, Jordan
3Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Akdeniz University, 07058, Antalya, Türkiye
4Livestock and Dairy Development, FATA Secretariate, Warsak Road, Peshawar, Pakistan
5Department of Animal and Poultry Production, Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Gomal Univeristy, Dera Ismal Khan, Pakistan 
6Institute of Natural and Applied Sciences, Akdeniz University, Konyaaltr, 07058, Antalya, Turkey
 
*      Corresponding author: ratiyat@mutah.edu.jo

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to examine the effect of different suckling methods on newborn Assaf lambs growth performance and mortality. A total of 97 lambs were used in the study, with lambing periods starting from October 2020 to January 2021. Ewes’ parities were first, second, and third. After lambing, lambs were randomly distributed according to the suckling method into three groups: natural suckling (G1) (39 lambs), lambs fed completely with milk replacer (G2) (29 lambs), and lambs fed milk replacer at a rate of 4 times per day (G3) (29 lambs). In G1, lambs were 59% twins and 41% single lambs. Lambs from first, second, and third parity were 8, 21, and 28% respectively. Single lambs of G2 were 62%, while twin lambs were 38%. Lambs from first, second, and third parties were 14, 48, and 38%, respectively. However, 69% of G3 were singles. The natural suckling lambs (G1) were kept with their dams for free suckling until weaning at 60 days of age. However, the artificial suckling groups (G2) were isolated from dams and fed milk replacer ad libitum until weaning at 40 days of age. Lambs of the G3 were isolated from mothers and took their milk replacer through an automatic sucking machine four times a day, for half an hour each time, until weaning at 40 days. The results showed that weaning weights at 40 days were 13.7, 12.83 and 13 kg for lambs in G1, G2 and G3, respectively. The sucking method had no effect on mortality (P>0.05). The mortality rate decreased from 18% in G1 to 7 and 3.5% in G2 and G3 respectively. Most of the dead lambs were single lambs. Significant cost effects (P<0.05) were observed by feeding milk replacer in suckling lambs. The cost of milk per lamb was reduced from 120 to 40 USD. It was determined that feeding milk replacers to nursing lambs will result in significant cost reductions. However, these reductions were expected from the savings in milk expenses and the significant decrease in lambs’ mortality rate. We recomend the use of milk replacer in Assaf lambs for better performnce and economic cost. 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

February

Pakistan J. Zool., Vol. 56, Iss. 1, pp. 01-501

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