Effect of Concentrate Supplementation on Reproductive Performance of Desert Ewes Under Range Conditions, Sudan
This study was conducted to investigate the effect of concentrate supplementation on reproductive performance and milk yield of Sudan desert sheep (Hamari subtype) on rangelands. The study was conducted at Elnuhood locality, western Kordofan state, Sudan shortly before ewe breeding season. Ninety ewes of similar age (1-3 years) and an average live weight range (40 to 58) kg were divided randomly into three feeding groups of 30 animals each. Group A was given concentrate supplement for one month before, one month after mating, and one month before lambing; group B was given the supplement for one month before mating and one month before lambing, whereas group C was kept on natural grazing as a control group. All animals were allowed to graze on natural range. Animals were watered every 2-3 days according to ambient temperature. The concentrate diet was offered on group base at a rate of 500 gm./ewe/day, and consisted of sorghum grains 15%, groundnut cake 20%, molasses 15%, wheat bran 25%, groundnut hullus 23%, 1% salt and 1% limestone. Mature rams were introduced to ewes at the beginning of the breeding season. Reproductive traits, mortality and daily milk yield were recorded for each group. Statistical analysis indicated that concentrate supplementation improved ewe reproductive traits as conception to first service, lambing rate, fecundity, and prolificacy, and reduced abortion and mortality rate. Concentrate supplementation of ewes had no significant effect on ewe average daily milk yield. It was concluded that concentrate supplementation before and during the breeding season of ewes grazing natural pasture enhanced ewe's reproductive attributes and reduced their mortality.
Supplementation, Hamari Sheep, Reproductive Performance, Range Condition
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