Growth pattern to the end of the mating period influences the reproductive performance of Merino ewe lambs mated at 7 to 8 months of age

In this study, we determined the impacts of growth pattern to the end of the mating period and sire genetics on the reproductive performance of Merino ewe lambs. Five hundred ewe lambs with full pedigree records were managed under commercial conditions from weaning and weighed 43.5 kg at the start of the mating period with an average age of 224 days. The ewe lambs were offered a moderate or high feed allowance to achieve target growth rates of 100 or 200 g/day during a 46-day mating period. They were then recombined and scanned for pregnancy status 60 days after the mating period. At the individual animal level, a 5 kg greater live weight at the start of the mating period increased reproductive rate (foetuses per 100 ewes joined) by about 20% (P 
Source: Small Ruminant Research - Category: Zoology Source Type: research

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