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Animal. 2014 Apr;8(4):638-42. doi: 10.1017/S1751731114000123. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

Effect of milk replacer and rumen inert fat on growth and reproduction of Malpura ram lambs.

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1 Division of Animal Physiology and Biochemistry, Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute, Avikanagar, via Jaipur, Rajasthan 304501, India.
2 Division of Animal Nutrition, Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute, Avikanagar, via Jaipur, Rajasthan 304501, India.


The objective of this study was to assess the effects of milk replacer and rumen inert fat on growth, testicular development, puberty, semen production and sperm motion characteristics of ram lambs reared under intensive management in semi-arid climatic conditions. Seven-day-old male lambs of Malpura breed (n=20) were divided equally into two groups. Up to weaning, the lambs in G1 group (control) were fed concentrate, green khejri (Prosopis cineraria) leaves and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) hay along with suckling of dams, whereas lambs in G2 group were fed reconstituted milk at 17 g/lamb per day for the 1st week and at 34 g/lamb per day from 2nd week in addition to the feed inputs given in G1. During post weaning, lambs in the G1 group were given control concentrate, whereas in G2 the control concentrate supplemented with 40 g rumen inert fat per kg of feed was offered along with dry pala (Zizyphus nummularia) and ardu (Ailanthus excelsa) leaves. BWs of lambs were recorded weekly up to 6 months of age. Ram lambs of both the groups were trained for semen collection at a weekly interval from the age of 5 months and simultaneously testicular measurements were recorded fortnightly. The feeding of milk replacer and rumen inert fat had positive (P<0.05) effects on BW, testicular length, testicular volume, semen volume, sperm concentration, mass motility, % motility, % rapid, medium or slow motile spermatozoa. However, no significant effect was observed on testicular breadth, scrotal circumference, age of puberty, sperm velocities and other CASA-derived parameters. The results of this study indicate that higher plane of nutrition in the form of milk-replacer feeding during preweaning and rumen inert fat-supplemented feed during the postweaning period to growing ram lambs enhances their growth, testicular development and semen quality.

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