Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Effect of early shearing during gestation on the productive and reproductive behavior of female sheep offspring in their first 18 months of age

  • C. López-Mazz (a1), F. Baldi (a2), G. Quintans (a3), P. R. Kenyon (a4), O. Correa (a5), M. Regueiro (a1), A. Álvarez-Oxiley (a1) and G. E. Banchero (a6)...

Abstract

The research has shown the interesting contributions of shearing in mid-gestation on the performance of lambs from birth to weaning. Other studies have reported that shearing at early pregnancy influences the development of the placenta and lamb live weight at birth. However, there was a lack of information on the effect of early-prepartum shearing on the behavior of the offspring from weaning onward. This study evaluated the effect of shearing ewes at 50 days of gestation on the growth, reproductive behavior and response to a gastrointestinal parasite challenge in the female offspring from weaning to 18 months old. Fifty-seven Polwarth female lambs were used, 22 being singles and 35 twins born to ewes either shorn at 50 days of pregnancy (PS, n = 23) or shorn at 62 days postpartum (U, control, n = 34) resulting in four subgroups: single lambs born to PS ewes (n = 8), born to U ewes (n = 14), twin lambs born to PS ewes (n = 15) or born to U ewes (n = 20). All progeny were managed together under improved pasture with a minimum forage allowance of 6% live weight on dry basis. Body weight, body condition score and fecal eggs count were recorded every 14 days from weaning to 18 months of age. Concentrations of progesterone were measured weekly (from 4 to 10 months of age and from 14 to 18 months of age) to establish the onset of puberty. Ovulation rate at an induced and a natural heat (545 ± 1.0 and 562 ± 1.0 day old) was recorded. Prepartum shearing did not affect the age at puberty or the ovulation rate of female offspring, but those born as singles were more precocious ( P = 0.03) and heavier ( P = 0.02) at puberty than twin born lambs. Both the average value of parasite egg count ( P = 0.0 7) and the Famacha index ( P = 0.02) for the entire study period were lower in lambs born to prepartum shorn ewes than those born to postpartum shorn ewes. In conclusion, shearing at 50 days of gestation did not affect the growth or the reproductive behavior of female offspring. However, female lambs born from ewe shorn during gestation showed a better response to the parasitic challenge, and further research is required to confirm this.

Copyright

Corresponding author

References

Hide All
Ashworth, CJ, McEvoy, TG, Rooke, JA and Robinson, JJ 2005. Nutritional programming of physiological systems throughout development. Trends in Developmental Biology 1, 117129.
Banchero, G, Vázquez, A, Montossi, F, De Barbieri, I and Quintans, G 2010. Pre-partum shearing of ewes under pastoral conditions improves the early vigour of both single and twin lambs. Animal Production Science 50, 309314. https://doi.org/10.1071/AN09127
Banchero, G, Vázquez, A, Vera, M and Quintans, G 2012. Adding condensed tannins to the diet increases ovulation rate in sheep. Animal Production Science 52, 853856. https://doi.org/10.1071/AN11333
Bauer, MK, Harding, JE, Bassett, NS, Breier, BH, Oliver, MH, Gallaher, BH, Evans, PC, Woodall, SM and Gluckman, PD 1998. Fetal growth and placental function. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 140, 115120. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0303-7207(98)00039-2
Cam, MA and Kuran, M 2004. Shearing pregnant ewes to improve lamb birth weight increases milk yield of ewes and lamb weaning weight. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 17, 16691673. https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2004.1669
Corner, RA, Kenyon, PR, Stafford, KJ, West, DM and Oliver, MH 2010. The effect of different types of stressors during mid- and late pregnancy on lamb weight and body size at birth. Animal 4, 20652070. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731110001321
Corticelli, B and Lai, M 1963. Ricerche sulla tecnica di coltura delle larve infestive degli strongili gastro-intestinali del bovino. Acta Medica Veterinaria año 9, fásciculo. V / VI.
Cronjé, PB 2003. Foetal programming of immune competence. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 43, 14271430. https://doi.org/10.1071/EA03005
De Barbieri, I, Montossi, F, Viñoles, C and Kenyon, PR 2018. Time of shearing the ewe not only affects lamb live weight and survival at birth and weaning, but also ewe wool production and quality. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 61, 5766. https://doi.org/10.1080/00288233.2017.1388825
Ehrhardt, RA and Bell, AW 1995. Growth and metabolism of the ovine placenta during mid-gestation. Placenta 16, 727741. https://doi.org/10.1016/0143-4004(95)90016-0
Foster, DL, Yellon, SM and Olster, DH 1985. Internal and external determinants of timing of puberty in the female. Journal of Reproduction & Fertility 75, 327344.
Grazul-Bilska, AT, Johnson, ML, Borowicz, PP, Minten, M, Bilski, JJ, Wroblewski, R, Velimirovich, M, Coupe, LR, Redmer, D and Reynolds, LP 2011. Placental development during early pregnancy in sheep: cell proliferation, global methylation, and angiogenesis in the fetal placenta. Reproduction 141, 529540. https://doi.org/10.1530/REP-10-0505
Greenwood, PL, Thompson, A and Ford, SP 2010. Postnatal consequences of the maternal environment and growth during prenatal life for productivity of ruminants. In Managing the prenatal environment to enhance livestock productivity (eds. Greenwood, PL, Bell, AW, Vercoe, PE and Viljoen, GJ), pp. 336. Springer Science Business Media, Dordrecht, Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-3135-8
Gunn, RG, Sim, DA and Hunter, EA 1995. Effects of nutrition in utero and in early life on the subsequent lifetime reproductive performance of Scottish Blackface ewes in two management systems. Animal Science 60, 223230. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1357729800008389
Haydock, KP and Shaw, NH 1975. The comparative yield method for estimating dry matter yield of pasture. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture and Animal Husbandry 15, 663670. https://doi.org/10.1071/EA9750663
Heasman, L, Clarke, L, Stephenson, TJ and Symonds, ME 1999. The influence of maternal nutrient restriction in early to mid-gestation on placental and fetal development in sheep. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 58, 283288. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0029665199000397
Kelly, RW 1992. Nutrition and placental development. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society of Australia 17, 203211.
Kenyon, PR and Blair, HT 2014. Foetal programming in sheep – effects on production. Small Ruminant Research 118, 1630. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2013.12.021Get
Kenyon, PR, Morris, ST, Revell, DK and McCutcheon, SN 2003. Shearing during pregnancy – review of a policy to increase birth-weight and survival of lambs in New Zealand pastoral farming systems. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 51, 200207. https://doi.org/10.1080/00480169.2003.36368
Kotsampasi, B, Chadio, S, Papadomichelakis, G, Deligeorgis, S, Kaliogiannis, D, Menegatos, I and Zervas, G 2009. Effects of maternal undernutrition on the hipotalamic-piyuitary-gonadal axis function in female sheep offspring. Reproduction in Domestic Animals 44, 677684. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0531.2007.01046.x
Liu, Y, He, S, Zhang, Y, Xia, W, Li, M, Zhang, C and Gao, F 2015. Effects of intrauterine growth restriction during late pregnancy on the development of the ovine fetal thymus and the T-lymphocyte subpopulation. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology 74, 2637.
López-Mazz, C, Baldi, F, Quintans, G and Banchero, G 2017. Shearing ewes in the first third of gestation improves offspring performance. Animal Production Science 58, 19081914. https://doi.org/10.1071/AN16461
Moore, SE 1998. Nutrition, immunity and the fetal and infant origins of disease hypothesis in developing countries. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 57, 241247.
Morris, ST, Kenyon, PR, Burnham, DL and McCutcheon, SN 1999. The influence of pre-lamb shearing on lamb birthweight and survival. Proceedings of the New Zealand Grasslands Association 61, 9598.
Morris, ST and McCutcheon, SN 1997. Selective enhancement of growth in twin foetuses by shearing ewes in early gestation. Animal Science 65, 105110.
Morris, ST, McCutcheon, SN and Revell, DK 2000 Birth weight responses to shearing ewes in early to mid gestation. Animal Science 70, 363369. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1357729800054825
Nari, A, Eddi, C, Martins, JR and Benavides, E 2003. Resistencia a los Antiparasitarios: Estado actual con énfasis en América Latina. Estudio FAO Producción y Sanidad Animal 157. FAO, Rome, Italy, pp. 16.
Osgerby, JC, Wathes, DC, Howard, D and Gadd, TS 2002. The effect of maternal undernutrition on ovine fetal growth. Journal of Endocrinology 173, 131141. https://doi.org/10.1677/joe.0.1730131
Paten, AM, Asmad, K, Loureiro, MFP, Kenyon, PR, Pain, SJ, Peterson, SW, Pomroy, WE, Scott, I and Blair, HT 2011. The effects of dam nutrition during pregnancy on the postnatal growth and puberty attainment of ewe progeny. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 71, 5658.
Rae, MT, Kyle, CE, Miller, DW, Hammond, AJ, Brooks, AN and Rhind, SM 2002. The effects of undernutrition, in utero, on reproductive function in adult male and female sheep. Animal Reproduction Science 72, 6371. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-4320(02)00068-4
Redmer, DA, Wallace, JM and Reynolds, LP 2004. Effect of nutrient intake during pregnancy on fetal and placental growth and vascular development. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 27, 199217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.domaniend.2004.06.006
Revell, DK, Morris, ST, Cottam, YH, Hanna, JE, Thomas, DG, Brown, S and McCutcheon, SN 2002. Shearing ewes at mid-pregnancy is associated with changes in fetal growth and development. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 53, 697705. https://doi.org/10.1071/AR01140
Reynolds, LP, Borowicz, PP, Caton, J S, Vonnahme, KA, Luther, JS, Hammer, CJ, Maddock Carlin, KR, Grazul-Bilska, AT and Redmer, DA 2010. Developmental programming: the concept, large animal models, and the key role of uteroplacental vascular development. Journal Animal Science 88 (E. Suppl.), E61E72.
Reynolds, LP and Redmer, DA 1995. Utero-placental vascular development and placental function. Journal of Animal Science 73, 18391851. https://doi.org/10.2527/1995.7361839x
Rhind, SM 2004. Effects of maternal nutrition on fetal and neonatal reproductive development and function. Animal Reproduction Science 82–83, 169181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2004.04.003
Robinson, J, Chidzanja, S, Kind, K, Lok, F, Owens, P and Owen, J 1995. Placental control of fetal growth. Reproduction Fertility and Development 7, 333344. doi:10.1071/rd9950333
Rooke, JA, Houdijk, JGM, McIlvaney, K, Ashworth, CJ and Dwyer, CM 2010. Differential effects of maternal undernutrition between days 1 and 90 of pregnancy on ewe and lamb performance and lamb parasitism in hill or lowland breeds. Journal of Animal Science 88, 38333842. https://doi.org/10.2527/jas.2010-2991
Russel, AJF, Doney, JM and Gunn, RG 1969. Subjective assessment of body fat in live sheep. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 72, 451454.
SAS, 2001. SAS Version 8.02. SAS Inst., Cary, NC, USA.
Sherlock, RG, Kenyon, PR, Morris, ST and Parkinson, TJ 2003. Metabolic changes in ewes shorn during mid-pregnancy. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 63, Queenstown, 144148.
Smeaton, DC, Webby, RW, Tarbotton, IS and Clayton, JB 2000. The effects of shearing Finnish Landrace × Romney ewes in mid-pregnancy on lamb survival, birth weight and other weights. In Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production 60, 5860
Sphor, L, Banchero, G, Correa, G, Osorio, MTM and Quintans, G 2011. Early prepartum shearing increases milk production of wool sheep and the weight of the lambs at birth and weaning. Small Ruminant Research 99, 4447. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2011.03.007
Symonds, ME, Bryant, MJ and Lomax, MA 1986. The effect of shearing on the energy metabolism of the pregnant ewe. British Journal of Nutrition 56, 635643. https://doi.org/10.1079/BJN19860144
Tuchscherer, M, Kanitz, E, Otten, W and Tuchscherer, A 2002. Effects of prenatal stress on cellular and humoral immune response in neonatal pigs. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 86, 195203. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0165-2427(02)00035-1
Ueno, H and Goncalves, PC 1998. Manual para diagnóstico de helmintoses de ruminantes. 4th ed. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Tokyo, Japan. 143p.
Van Wyk, JA and Bath, GF 2002. The famacha system for managing haemonchosis in sheep and goats by clinically identifying individual animals for treatment. Veterinary Research 33, 509529. https://doi.org/10.1051/vetres:2002036
Vonnahme, KA, Lemley, CO, Shukla, P and Rourke, STO 2013. Placental programming: how the maternal environment can impact placental function. Journal of Animal Science 91, 24672480. https://doi.org/10.2527/jas2012-5929
Withlock, HV 1948. Some modifications of the McMaster helminth egg-counting technique and apparatus. Journal of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research 21, 177180.
Wolfinger, R and O’Connell, M 1993. Generalized linear mixed models a pseudo-likelihood approach. Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation 48, 233243.

Keywords

Effect of early shearing during gestation on the productive and reproductive behavior of female sheep offspring in their first 18 months of age

  • C. López-Mazz (a1), F. Baldi (a2), G. Quintans (a3), P. R. Kenyon (a4), O. Correa (a5), M. Regueiro (a1), A. Álvarez-Oxiley (a1) and G. E. Banchero (a6)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed