Estimated energy balance of periparturient ewes grazing in rangelands

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Exhibit Hall AB (Kansas City Convention Center)
Eliel González-García , INRA UMR868 Systèmes d'Elevage Méditerranées et Tropicaux (SELMET), Montpellier 34060, Montpellier, France
Dagiale Tagliatella , Universidade Estadual de Londrina (UEL), Rodovia Celso Garcia Cid, PR 445 Km 380, Campus Universitário, Londrina, Brazil
Magali Jouven , Montpellier Supagro, Sciences Animales, UMR868 Systèmes d'Elevage Méditerranées et Tropicaux (SELMET), Montpellier 34060, France, Montpellier, France
François Bocquier , Montpellier Supagro, Sciences Animales, UMR868 Systèmes d'Elevage Méditerranées et Tropicaux (SELMET), Montpellier 34060, France, Montpellier, France
Abstract Text:

In a previous work we demonstrated that efficiency in body reserves (BR) mobilization/accretion was affected by parity [multiparous (MULT) ewes being more flexible than primiparous], litter size and physiological stage (peaks of BR mobilization attained around lambing and 1 mo after mating). The objective of this study was to estimate the dynamic individual energy balance of periparturient MULT Romane grazing ewes, from 15 d before until 15 d after lambing. A group of MULT ewes (n=20), allocated according to litter size (lambing and suckling singletons, SING -n=10-, or twins, TWIN -n=10) was used. Details on management and feeding were reported by González-García et al. (2014). At late pregnancy, ewes were in rotational grazing of native rangeland and supplemented with 0.7, 2.0 and 0.8 kg/d of hay (Dactylus glomerata and alfalfa), silage (Lolium perenne and alfalfa) and barley, respectively. After lambing, ewes were fed on fertilized paddocks without supplementation. Individual progression of BW, BCS, plasma NEFA as well as ADG of lambs was considered for energy balance interpretation. Some estimation is established based on NRC (2007) recommendations. Data were analyzed using the PROC Mixed procedure of SAS (2007) with repeated measures. During the last 4 wk of gestation, one 50 kg ewe from this flock is estimated to display a daily consumption of around 1.6 kg of DM (3.2 % BW) to support around 180 g of BW gain, requiring 3.4 mcal of ME. During the first 6-8 wk lactation, feed intake is affected by litter size (NRC, 2007; 2.1 or 2.4 kg of DM/d for ewes suckling SING or TWIN; 4.2 or 4.8 % BW, respectively) with an increase in energy requirement of 4.9 or 5.6 mcal of ME for SING or TWIN, respectively. At late pregnancy, a positive energy balance of >1.1 mcal/d was observed (4.7 mcal of ME vs. 3.6 of ME requirements) due to the advantageous supplementation regime established in the farm. Paradoxically, at this stage (late pregnancy) NEFA values showed a peak in BR mobilization. After lambing, ewes suckling SING and TWIN were both required to mobilize their BR to meet energy requirement despite the high quality of the fertilized paddocks and the BW increase. More precise and targeted studies are required to better address the combined anabolic and catabolic phases experimented under the conditions of this experiment in periparturient ewes.

Keywords:  periparturient ewes; rangelands; energy balance; body reserves

González-García E. et al. 2014. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 46: 37–48.