Relationship of certain blood nitrogen constituents with growth in different genetic groups of sheep Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/gt54kq67v

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  • Market lamb production usually requires a short period of time. The success of production is therefore dependent upon the growth rate of the lambs which is influenced by milk yields of the ewes. Different growth potentials of animals result from a difference in their utilisation of food. Since metabolism affects the blood constituents which can be measured, it was the objective of this experiment to study the variations of blood amino acid and urea nitrogen levels of lambs and their dams during the suckling period. The relationship between constituents and the relationship of each constituent with weight and age of lambs were studied. Also relationships of blood constituents of ewes with blood constituents, weights and ages of lambs were studied. Five breeds of sheep were used: Willamette, Suffolk, Columbia, Dorset Horn and Border Cheviot. Weights of lambs were recorded at the same time as blood samples were taken from lambs and their dams. The experiment was conducted for seven two-week periods during the Winter and Spring of 1962. Blood amino acid and urea nitrogen levels were found to be associated with growth of lambs. Blood amino acid nitrogen levels of lambs were different due to breeds (P < .01) but not due to periods, while urea nitrogen levels of the blood were different due to periods and types of birth (P < .01). Suffolks showed the highest level of blood amino acid nitrogen, a level of 7.84 mg. whereas Columbias gave a value of 7.23 mg. per 100 ml. of blood which was the lowest level. Twins had lower levels of blood urea nitrogen than singles and both groups showed a steady decrease in the concentrations of urea as they became older and larger. The correlation coefficient between these constituents was highly significant, whereas no relationship was found within periods between either constituent and weights or ages of lambs. Body weight of the lambs was highly correlated with age. In the case of ewes, blood constituents were associated with milk yields and growth of lambs. Both constituents showed effects of breeds and periods. While blood amino acid levels were not extremely variable, blood urea nitrogen levels markedly increased at the second period then steadily decreased until the end of the experiment. Blood amino acid nitrogen levels of ewes were highly correlated with those of lambs (P < .01), while this relationship was not detected for blood urea nitrogen. A negative correlation coefficient between blood urea nitrogen levels of ewes and body weights of lambs was highly significant (P < .01) in Willamettes, Suffolks, and Columbias, while in Dorset Horns and Border Cheviots it was not significant. However, the average correlation coefficient within breeds and periods was not significant.
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