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.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Department of Animal Breeding and Husbandry, Faculty of Animal Science, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 118 55 Athens, Greece.email@example.com|
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