Effect of protected methionine supplementation in late lactation on blood metabolites of twin-bearing ewes pre- and post-lambing


Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran


The rearing of large body size and high ability to twinning by genetic selection and nutritional strategies is expanding. However, lambs’ performance and decreased losses related to the multiple-bearing around lambing can affect the efficiency of multi-bearing. Recognition and control of changes in metabolic factors priparturient have vital importance. Pre-lambing and immediately after lambing could be considered as the most important and critical period of ewe life which affects heath and performance of ewes and lambs. Objectives: This experiment was carried out in order to evaluate the effects of protected methionine supplementation during pre-lambing period on metabolic factors of twin-bearing ewes through priparturient period and their lambs as well. Methods: Sixteen pregnant Afshari ewes weighting 91.5 ± 5.3 kg and  117 ± 1.5 days of pregnancy were randomly assigned to two dietary treatments containing no methionine supplementation and 3gr/kg DM of protected methionine. They were individually fed total mixed ration twice a day. Dry matter intake was recorded daily; the blood samples were drawn on days -30, -15, +1 and +30 related to lambing; ewes’ BWs were measured on days -40, -20, -10, +1, +10 and +20 related to lambing; lambs were weighted on days of birth, +15, +30 and +60. Results: The BW of lambs of ewes supplemented with protected methionine was greater than the control group (p<0.05), protected methionine affected pre-lambing blood urea and albumin concentration (p<0.05), plasma cholesterol was higher in control group (p<0.05) and total protein and albumin tended to be significant (p<0.1) and other blood factors were not influenced by treatments. Conclusions: These results show that blood metabolites are influenced as animals approach  the lambing time. In addition, rumen protected methionine resulted in improved birth weight of multi-bearing ewes’ lambs and caused improved blood metabolites related to N, considering the interaction between time and treatment.


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