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The effect of permanent or temporary contact with the lamb and contact with males on the lambing to first ovulation interval in Saint Croix sheep

By Agustín Orihuela, Daniela Valdez, Rodolfo Ungerfeld

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Abstract

The effect of suckling and presence of the lamb, or ram, on the lambing to first ovulation interval in Saint Croix sheep was determined. Ten days after lambing 50 ewes and their lambs were assigned to three different suckling treatments: continuous suckling (CS), restricted suckling (RS), restricted lamb presence (RP). Ewes from each treatment were allocated to groups that had contact with a ram (TR) or remained isolated from rams (IR). Therefore, overall, there were six groups with 2 factors: CS-IR (n=7) CS-TR (n=7); RS-IR (n=11); RS-TR (n=11); RP-IR (n=7), and RP-TR (n=7). The presence of the ram (P=0.01) and restricted suckling (P=0.05) reduced the interval from lambing to first ovulation, while no interaction was found (P>0.05) between these two factors. An effect of treatment and its interaction influenced significantly the number of vocalizations and growth rate in lambs. At the day of weaning RP vocalized more than RS (P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 181
Pages 100-104
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2016.05.009
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Maternal behavior
  3. ovaries
  4. suckling
  5. weaning