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Effect of early dietary experiences on the development of feeding preferences in semi-intensive sheep farming systems - a brief note

By P. E. Simitzis, J. A. Bizelis, S. G. Deligeorgis, K. Feggeros

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Abstract

The crucial role of the periweaning period in the development of lamb feeding preferences was examined in the present study. Twenty-four female lambs were fed with a commercial diet, supplemented with oregano essential oil (1 ml/kg) between the 15th and 55th day of their life, in the absence of ewes. After the 55th day, animals consumed the same diet, without the oregano oil dietary supplementation. Lambs were later individually subjected to feeding preference tests at the age of 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 months old. Each test lasted 25 min and it was a free choice situation between 4 different test feeds supplemented with eucalyptus or mint or orange or oregano essential oil (1 ml/kg). As it was shown, previous exposure to oregano flavour influenced future acceptance of oregano-supplemented feed, as it is described by feed intake (P<0.001), occurrences and duration of eating (P<0.01), especially after the age of 9 months old.

Date 2008
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 111
Issue 3/4
Pages 391-395
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2007.06.010
Author Address Department of Animal Breeding and Husbandry, Faculty of Animal Science, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 118 55 Athens, Greece.sdel@aua.gr
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Age
  2. Agriculture
  3. Animal behavior
  4. Animal nutrition
  5. Diets
  6. Farms
  7. Feeding behavior
  8. Feed preferences
  9. Feeds
  10. Feed supplements
  11. Flavor
  12. Intensive farming
  13. Lambs
  14. Mammals
  15. Mentha
  16. oils
  17. peer-reviewed
  18. Plants
  19. Sheep
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed