Effects of ewe late gestational supplementation of rumen undegradable protein, vitamin E, zinc, and chlortetracycline on ewe productivity and postweaning management of lambs on feedlot performance and tissue deposition

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Agriculture


Lamb survival and productivity from birth to weaning and lamb postweaning management harvest are areas that the US sheep industry needs to become more efficient at to remain profitable. Western white-faced ewes were supplemented HIGH (12.5% rumen by-pass protein, 880 IU/kg of supplemental Vitamin E, 176 ppm chelated Zn, and 72.7 mg/kg chlortetracycline) or LOW (7.56% rumen by-pass protein, with no supplemental Vitamin E, chelated Zn, or chlortetracycline) supplements at 0.227 kg·ewe -1·d -1 during late gestation. Ewes of different age and body condition scores were individually supplemented for 29 d prior to expected lambing. Thereafter, each ewe was mass fed the appropriate supplement until lambing. In Experiment 3, approximately 600 ewes were group fed HIGH or LOW supplements over 2 yr. Differences in antibody transfer from ewe to lamb were detected in supplemented ewes of different age (P < 0.10); however, lamb production was not different (P > 0.10) for all 3 experiments. To investigate lamb post-weaning management, terminally sired lambs (n = 72) were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 backgrounding treatments. Lamb backgrounding treatments were: ad libitum access to 80% alfalfa: 20% barley pellets (PELLET); cool season grass paddock grazing (GRASS); remain with ewe flock on fall dormant range (LATE WEAN); wean for 96 h and returned to ewe flock on dormant range (RANGE). Background treatments were applied for 29 d. Thereafter, lambs were finished on a corn based diet. Lamb BW and ultrasound measurements were taken at weaning, after background treatment, after feedlot step-up and at the conclusion of the finishing period. Pen intake was measured. Lambs backgrounded on PELLET were heavier (P < 0.10) than all other treatments after the backgrounding period and at the end of the feedlot period. Lambs backgrounded on PELLET had the greatest intakes and ADG (P < 0.10) during the feedlot period. At beginning and end of the feedlot period, PELLET and GRASS lambs had larger (P < 0.05) LM areas than RANGE and LATE WEAN treated lambs. Under the condition of the studies, late gestational supplements did not improve ewe productivity and backgrounding treatments on dormant range diminished feedlot productivity.




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