Influence of colostrum from safflower supplemented ewes on lamb cold tolerance and lamb growth

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Agriculture


Five hundred, ninety-seven and 643 white face range ewes were used in a 2 year study, respectively, in a 3-way factorial arrangement to determine effect of supplemental linoleic oil on lamb serum metabolites, thermogenesis and lamb growth. During the last 45 ± 4 days of gestation ewes were group fed a daily supplement of either 0.23 kg·ewe-1·d-1 whole safflower seed (SS) or 0.34 kg·ewe-1·d-1 whole barley (C). Colostrum was collected from each supplement treatment and pooled according to treatment. At parturition, twin born lambs received either SS or C pooled colostrum. One h postpartum, lambs were placed in a 0°C dry cold chamber for 30 min. and lamb rectal temperature was recorded at one min intervals. Blood samples were taken prior to and after cold exposure. Lamb weights were taken at birth, turnout and weaning for growth. There was no difference (P > 0.10) in body temperatures between lambs born to ewes supplemented with SS vs. C or between lambs given pooled colostrum form SS or C supplemented ewes. At 0 minutes lambs born to SS supplemented ewes had lower glucose (P = 0.05), total protein (P = 0.05) and NEFA (P = 0.003) and higher BUN (P = 0.03) than lambs from C supplemented ewes. Lambs from SS supplemented ewes had lower NEFA (P = 0.01) after cold exposure (30 minutes). Total protein concentration was similar in year 1 but lower (P < 0.01) in year 2. Concentrations of aGP were higher in lambs from SS supplemented ewes at both 0 and 30 min in year 1. Lambs from SS ewes had higher (P < 0.01) blood aGP levels at both 0 and 30 min in year 1 than in year 2. No differences (P > 0.30) were detected between lambs from SS ewes vs. C for changes in any blood metabolites measured during cold stress period. No differences (P > 0.12) were detected for average date of birth, number of lambs born, number of lambs present at turnout and weaning or for weight of lambs at turnout or weaning for ewes receiving either SS or C supplements.




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