This experiment was conducted to compare the lamb growth performance under lamb suckling and milk replacer (MR) regimes. In total, forty four lambs (Cukurova Assaf (CA) and Cukurova Meat Sheep (CMS)) were consisted of the animal material. Artificial reared (AR) lambs were removed from ewes 2 days after postpartum and moved indoors. Lambs received calf milk replacer thrice daily until weaning at 6 weeks. At two weeks of age, all lambs had ad-libitum access to commercial lamb starter diet and alfalfa hay. Birth weight (BW), feed and MR intake were recorded and weight gain (WG) was measured at one week intervals. The group of AR lambs had heavier live weights and more rapid growth than suckled lambs until the end of 4thweek. Weaning weights in the AR and ewe reared (ER) groups were 12.64 and 14.15 kg, respectively. Results showed an average daily weight gain (ADG) of 180 and 230 g for AR and ER, respectively. Genotype and rearing method was found statistically significant on ADG (P<0.05). Lamb survival at 91.7% was higher for AR than the 55% for ER (P < 0.001). These results show that lambs can be successfully reared with calf milk replacer at a lower cost than with ewe rearing.
Key words: Farm profitability, lamb, lamb survival, milk replacer.
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