Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Body condition affects fetal number

Indian researchers divided 30 healthy Malpura ewes into three groups according to their body condition. Group 1 ewes had body condition scores of 2.5. Group 2 ewes had body condition scores of 3.0 to 3.5. Group 4 ewes had a body condition scores of 4.0.

chart with dataAll of the ewes were naturally mated to a ram of proven vigor and fertility. On day 50 of gestation, the ewes were scanned to determine fetal numbers.

The fetal volume of group 1 (BCS 2.5) ewes was significantly less than group 2 (BCS 3.0-3.5) ewes: 167.5 vs. 193.2. Group 3 (BCS 4.0) ewes had the largest fetal volume: 214.2.

Body condition scoring is a simple, noninvasive, time-saving, and benefical technique to rank ewes according to their body reserve. A scale of 1 to 5 is used to rank ewes (and does), with 1 being emaciated, 3 being average, and 5 being obese.

Source: Indian Society for Sheep & Goat Production and Utilization Newsletter