Effect of certain blood enzymes and cellular constituents on growth in different genetic groups of sheep Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/w66347242

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  • In the present study, five breeds of ewes and their lambs were utilized. The breeds used were: Border Cheviot, Dorset Horn, Columbia, Suffolk and Willamette. In all, 31 ewes and 42 lambs were involved. The blood constituents which were determined for the ewes and lambs were: acid and alkaline phosphatase, hematocrit, hemoglobin and red and white blood cell numbers. Blood samples were taken and analyzed for each ewe and lamb, at two-week intervals, from the ninth or tenth day of lactation until approximately 94 days subsequent to lambing. At 100 days of age the lambs were scored for conformation and condition. Then the lambs were slaughtered and a sample of each carcass was cooked and submitted to a taste panel to obtain scores for tenderness and preference. Acid phosphatase levels of activity were approximately three times higher for lambs than for ewes at 10 days following lambing, and two times higher than the level for ewes for the entire testing period. Highly significant breed and period differences were observed for acid phosphatase levels in lambs. No breed differences for this enzyme were noted in ewes. Alkaline phosphatase levels of activity were higher in lambs than in ewes throughout the testing period. The average alkaline phosphatase value for lambs was 8.07 units compared to 2.96 units for the ewes. The average alkaline phosphatase value of lambs was highest at 10 days (11.00 units) and lowest at 80 days (6.36 units). Alkaline phosphatase levels were affected statistically (P<.01) by breed, sex and period, and ewe values were affected (P<.01) by breed, period and type of birth. Hematocrit values were only slightly higher in lambs than in ewes. At the first testing period the ewe values slightly exceeded the lamb values, but from the second period until the end of the test the lamb values were higher than the ewe values. Highly significant (P<.01) differences were found in ewes according to breed and period, whereas, lamb hematocrit values differed according to age of dam and period (P<.01). Hemoglobin levels followed a pattern similar to that found for hematocrit in lambs and ewes. Hemoglobin values for lambs and ewes reached the highest level at 24 days subsequent to lambing. Hemoglobin levels differed significantly (P<.01) in ewes according to breed and period, and in lambs according to period (P<.01) and sex (P<.05). Average red blood cell counts were higher for ewes (9,690,000) than for lambs (8,920,000) at 10 days subsequent to lambing, but by 94 days the average ewe red blood count was 8,440,000 compared to 10,680,000 for lambs. No breed differences could be found in red blood cell numbers for ewes or lambs. However, period and birth type differences were observed in lambs. White blood cell numbers were slightly more than one thousand lower for lambs than for ewes at 10 days following lambing. The lamb values were still lower than the ewe values at 24 days, but by 38 days the lamb values exceeded the ewe values. White blood cell numbers differed significantly (P<.01) for ewes according to breed and according to breed, birth type and period for lambs. A slight sex difference in white blood cell numbers was observed in lambs. The Columbia lambs had the lowest conformation and condition scores of any of the breeds. The Border Cheviots and the Willamettes had the highest scores for conformation and condition, respectively. However, the Columbias had the highest preference and tenderness scores of any of the breeds, while the Border Cheviots had the lowest preference and tenderness scores of any of the breeds. The breeds ranked in the following order for average weight gains of lambs: Willamettes, Suffolks, Columbias, Dorest Horns and Border Cheviots. Body weight of lambs differed significantly (P<.01) according to breed, birth type and period and (P<.05) according to sex. None of the variables studied seemed to be highly related to growth rate in lambs.
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