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Lamb growth and milk production and quality has been compared

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Authors: M. Joy, R. Revilla, S. Gracia, R. Delfa
Issue: 102-3 (314-326)
Topic: Animal Production
Keywords: sheep, management, milk, lamb, growth.

Extensive (EXT), ewes and lambs were continuously stocked on the meadow and remained together from birth to slaughtering without any kind of supplement. Intensive (INT), lambs remained always indoor and ewes grazed from 0800h to 1700h and the rest of day were kept indoor with their lambs to milk them. Ewes were supplemented with 500 g/day of barley meal and lambs had free access to concentrate. The lambs were weaned at an average age 52±0.86 days. Results showed that milk production during the first month of lactation was significantly higher in EXT treatment, while the quality of milk only showed differences in composition of the fatty acids (FA), mainly the reduction C18:2/C18:3 observed in EXT. After the first month of lactation, INT treatment presented greater milk production and the differences in chemical composition were minimum among treatments. All lambs presented an average daily gain (ADG) high and similar among treatments from birth to 52 days (the weaning of INT lambs), being it a reflection of the mother's milk production. From the 52 days of life (the weaning of INT lambs) the ADG was greater in INT lambs as a result of its biggest consumption of concentrate (39.3 kg of concentrate for animal and period). The extensive system allows the production of lambs of 22-24 kg of body weight in a period of 81.9±2.57 days.

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