The effects of dam age, lamb gender, and singleton or twin status on lamb body size and growth were investigated in Malya lambs in Middle Anatolia, Turkey. Data were obtained from 302 lambs from an elite Malya sheep flock. Wither height, body length, rump height, rump length, back height, rump width, and front cannon bone circumference were recorded. The least square means method was used to determine factors that significantly affected body size of the lambs. General linear model in Minitab packet program was used to test the effects of variables on body size measurements. Least square means for wither height at birth and 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9 and 12 months of age were 40.13, 48.09, 55.07, 60.16, 64.99, 70.23, 74.45 and 76.66 cm, respectively. Dam age did not significantly affect body size parameters during the first year of life, except for rump height and front cannon bone circumference. Male lambs were significantly larger between birth and 12 months of age than females (P<0.05). Singleton lambs were significantly larger than twins until 6 months of age (P<0.05), but this effect was not significant after 6 months of age. It is suggested that there might be compensatory growth in twin lambs after weaning. In particular, twins born from 2-year-old dams show strong compensatory growth post-weaning. If farmers are able to ensure twin lamb survival until weaning age, they can expect compensatory growth after 9 months of age.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 1 2014|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science