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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2007  |  Volume: 10  |  Issue: 14  |  Page No.: 2389 - 2395

Effect of a Calcium Soap of Fatty Acids on Reproductive Characteristics and Lactation Performance of Fat-Tailed Sheep

S.M. Ghoreishi, M.J. Zamiri and E. Rowghani    

Abstract: Experiments were carried out to study the effect of feeding Megalac, calcium soaps of fatty acids (protected fat), on reproduction and lactation of sheep. In the first experiment, 20 Ghezel and 20 Mehraban cyclic fertile ewes (4-5 years old) were randomly allotted to 4 groups. The control group was fed with a balanced ration and the other groups received the same diet as well as a daily allowance of 40 g non-protected fat (NP), 40 g protected fat (LP), or 80 g (HP) protected fat. The ewes were fed with their respective rations for one cycle length. Blood samples were collected and analyzed for progesterone (P4), cholesterol (CHOL), High Density Lipoproteins (HDL), Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and triacylglycerols (TG). The ewes were slaughtered on their next estrous period and the size and number of follicles in ovaries were recorded. There were no significant effects of feeding fat on ovarian weights, cycle length and follicular numbers in each class, or on the size of the largest follicle. Serum concentrations of P4, CHOL, TG and HDL were greater for HP ewes as compared with the control ewes (p<0.05). In the second experiment, effects on lactation and lamb performance of feeding protected fat during mating, late gestation and early lactation were studied in Mehraban ewes. Milk and fat yields on day 25 of lactation were significantly increased by feeding protected fat. Protected fat resulted in lower weight loss in ewes and a higher lamb birth weight. Average daily weight gain of lambs from birth to day 60 and the weaning weight of lambs were increased by feeding protected fat (p<0.05). In conclusion, calcium soaps of fatty acids increased serum P4 between days 10 to 14 of the cycle which may be beneficial to early pregnancy maintenance. Protected fat seemed to have a beneficial effect on milk yield, fat yield, lamb daily gain, lamb birth weight and ewe weight loss.

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