Supplementary feeding effect during peripartum on some productive and reproductive parameters of Suffolk-Down ewe and its lamb in Cauquenes inner dry land

Julia Avendaño R.1 y Guillermo Imbarach A.2

Natural pasture in Cauquenes area, VII Region of Chile, presents unfavorable nutritional conditions for ewes since the end of gestation to early postpartum. Under management conditions of a traditional productive system of the area, the supplementary feeding effect on Suffolk-Down ewe during peripartum on live weight, body condition score, productive and reproductive parameters at grazing and its lamb live weight was studied. Twenty five ewes consumed supplement which, together with pasture, covered 100% of their nutritional requirements (T100); a second group received 50% (T50) of the previous amount, and a third one was maintained only at pasture (T0). Supplementary feeding improved ewe postpartum live weight (44.5 a; 48.0 b; 49.1 b, kg) and body condition score (2.6 a; 2.7 ab; 2.9 b); birth weight (3.2 a; 3.6 b; 3.5 b, kg) and viability (0.7 a; 0.8 ab; 0.9 b) of all born lambs; ewe reproductive efficiency expressed as number of lambs weaned per ewe on trial (0.6 a; 0.8 ab; 0.9 b), and ewe productive index expressed as weaned lamb kilograms per ewe on trial (16.7 a; 23.4 b; 27.2 b, kg) for T0, T50 and T100, respectively.

Keywords: supplementary feeding, sheep production, productive performance, reproductive performance.
1 Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, Centro Experimental Cauquenes, Casilla 165, Cauquenes, Chile. E-mail: inia-cauquenes@entelchile.net
2 Río Chalinga Nº 37, Aguas Claras, Salamanca, IV Región, Chile.