Relationship between the time of separation and the growth performance of artifially reared Awassi lambs
Twenty-one artificially housed Awassi lambs’ growth performance (body weights – BW; average daily gain – AVG) was investigated in the first 4 weeks. Animals were divided into three groups (seven lambs in each group) depending on the time of separation. Lambs in the first group were separated immediately after lambing (IW – immediately weaned). Seven lambs were removed 6 hours (6H) and other seven animals were removed 12 hours (12H) from dams after parturition. From the first week, live weight of IW lambs were significantly higher than 12H lambs (P<0.05 at 1 wk age; P<0.001 at 2, 3 and 4 wk age). The same tendency was found evaluating the ADGs. IW lambs had the highest ADG at 1, 2, 3 and 4 wk of age and the differences were significant compared to the values of 12H lambs (P<0.001). Regarding to the differences of body weights and ADGs of IW and 6H groups, no distinctions were found during the whole experiment. On the other hand, 6H lambs had higher body weights than 12H lamb from the 2nd wk (2 wk age: P<0.01; 3 wk age: P<0.001; 4 wk age: P<0.01) and it was the same regarding to ADGs, too (1 wk age: P<0.001; 2 wk age: P<0.01; 3 wk age: P<0.001; 4 wk age: P<0.01). IW lambs showed the highest average ADG (app. 230 g/4wk) and BW (9.98 ± 2.57 kg) at the end of the experiment.