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Journal Article

Journal article

Comparative growth performance of Kajli lambs suckling their dams or offered buffalo-milk, cow-milk or milk replacer during pre-weaning period  [2014]

Anjum, Musharraf Ahmad; Bhatti, Shaukat Ali; Sarwar, Muhammad; Muhammad, Ghulam; et al.

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Kajli, is one of the most beautiful sheep breeds of Pakistan. Because of their beauty, Kajli lambs are sold at a higher price than those of other breeds with similar weight. With the increasing trend in commercial livestock farming, young Kajli lambs are purchased from the open market and reared up to Eid-ul-Adha (The Muslim Sacrificial Day). Information on feeding cost and growth performance on artificial rearing is important for the breed lovers and for a commercial enterprise. The present study aimed at generating basic information on feeding cost and growth performance of Kajli lambs offered milk replacer, cow-milk, and buffalo-milk, in comparison with those suckling directly from their dams. Fifty-six healthy Kajli lambs both male and female (with equal sex ratio) born at the Livestock Experimental Station, Khushab, Punjab, Pakistan during spring 2013 remained with their mothers for 1 week and were then divided into four groups of 14 animals each. Lambs in Group I were allowed to suckle their dams ad libitum, twice daily until 8 weeks and then once daily from 9 to 12 weeks. Lambs were weighed before and after suckling to calculate milk consumption. Lambs in the other three treatments were offered buffalo-milk, cow-milk or milk replacer at the rate of 10% of bodyweight until the 8th week and then gradually reduced to zero by the end of the 12th week. All lambs were offered starter ration from the 5th week of age in individual pens. The data on milk and
starter intake, weekly bodyweight and blood glucose were analysed through MIXED procedures of SAS using repeated-measures analysis, and average daily gain (ADG), total weight gain, weaning weight and feeding cost were analysed using a completely randomised design. Least square means of ADG (g/day) and total weight gain (kg) were similar (P > 0.05) in direct suckling lambs and lambs offered buffalo-milk (175 and 151, and 14.5 and 12.5, respectively), and were higher (P < 0.05) than those offered cow-milk (118 and 10.4) or milk replacer (94 and 7.7). Feeding cost (per kg of liveweight) was highest (PKR 535) in lambs fed milk replacer and was lower (P > 0.05) in the other three groups. The cost of rearing lambs on buffalo-milk tended to be lower (PKR 375) than those offered cow-milk. In the absence of ewe’s milk, rearing Kajli lambs on buffalo-milk during the pre-weaning period therefore seems to be a better alternative.


Animal production science

ISSN : 1836-0939