Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30836
The Relationship between Sheep Management and Lamb Mortality

Authors: T. M. Mousa-Balabel


This study was carried out to investigate lamb mortalities relating to ewes' breed and some managemental factors on 250 pregnant ewes (190-Rahmani, 30-Ossimi and 30-Romanov) at Mehallet Mousa, Animal Production Research Station, Kafr El- Sheikh Province, Egypt. These animals divided into five groups according to the managemental factors used. The results revealed that the lamb mortality was higher in Ossimi breed and lower in Romanov one. In addition, the highest lamb mortality occurred among lambs for unsupplemented ewes, for those had body condition score two and for lambs which born outdoor. Moreover, the lamb survivability was increased by the parity of ewes. From this study it can be concluded that the lamb mortality depends on ewes' body condition score, parity, lambing system (indoor or outdoor), nutrition during pregnancy period and selected breed. In addition, the most important period for lamb survival is the first week of age.

Keywords: sheep breeds, lamb mortality, sheep management, sheep parity

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 2173


[1] G. E. Banchero, G. Quinans, G. B. Martin, D. R. Lindsay, and J. T. B. Milton, "Nutrition and colostrum production in sheep.1. Metabolic and hormonal responses to high-energy supplement in the final stages of pregnancy" Reprod. Fertil. Dev., vol. 16, 2004, pp. 633-643.
[2] S. H. Binns, I. J. Cox, S. Rizvi, and L. E. Green, "Risk factors of lamb mortality of UK sheep farms" Prev. Vet. Med., vol. 52, 2002, pp. 287- 303.
[3] D. C. Dalton, T. W. Knight, and D. L. Johnson, "Lamb survival in sheep breeds on New Zealand hill country" N. Z. J. Agri. Res., vol. 23, 1980, pp. 167-173.
[4] C. M. Dwyer, "Behavioral development in the neonatal lamb: effect of maternal and birth-related factors" Theriogen., vol. 59, 2003, pp. 1027- 1050.
[5] C. M. Dwyer, S. K. Calvert, M. Farish, J. Donbavand, and H. E. Pickup, "Breed, litter and parity effects on placental weight and placentome number, and consequences for neonatal behavior of the lamb" Theriogen., vol. 63, 2005, pp. 1092-1110.
[6] C. M. Dwyer, A. B. Lawrence, S. C. Bishop, and M. ewis, "Ewe-lamb bonding behaviors at birth are affected by maternal under nutrition in pregnancy" Br. J. Nutr., vol. 89, 2003, pp. 123-136.
[7] C. M. Dwyer, and A. B. Lawrence, "Maternal behavior in domestic sheep (Ovis aries): constancy and change with maternal experience" Behav., vol. 137, 2000, pp. 1391-1413.
[8] C. M. Dwyer, and A. B. Lawrence, "Variability in the expression of maternal behavior in primiparous sheep: Effects of genotype and litter size" Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., vol. 58, 1998, pp. 311-330.
[9] C. M. Dwyer, and A. B. Lawrence, "Does the behavior of the neonate influence the expression of maternal behavior in sheep?" Behav., vol.136, 1999, pp. 367-389.
[10] C. M. Dwyer, and A. B. Lawrence, "A review of the behavioral and physiological adaptations of extensively managed breeds of sheep that favour lamb survival" Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., vol. 92, 2005, pp. 235- 260.
[11] J. M. Everett-Hincks, H. T. Blair, K. J. Stafford, N. Lopez-Villalobos, P. R. Kenyon, and S. T. Morris, "The effect of pasture allowance during pregnancy on maternal behavior and lamb rearing performance in highly fecund ewes" Livest. Prod. Sci., vol. 97, 2005, pp. 253-266.
[12] J. M. Everett-Hincks, N. Lopez-Villalobos, H. T. Blair, and K. J. Stafford, "The effect of ewe maternal behavior score on lamb and litter survival" Livest. Prod. Sci., vol. 93, 2004, pp. 51-61.
[13] N. M. Fogarty, D. L. Hopkins, and R. van de Ven, "Lamb production from diverse genotypes 1. Lamb growth and survival and ewe performance" Anim. Sci., vol. 70, 2000, pp. 135-145.
[14] D. G. Hall, L. R. Piper, A. R. Egan, and B. M. Bindon, "Lamb and milk production from Booroola ewes supplemented in late pregnancy" Aust. J. Exp. Agr., vol. 32, 1992, pp. 587-593.
[15] G. K. Hight, and K. E. Jury, "Hill country sheep production. II. Lamb mortality and birth weights in Romney and Border Leicester × Romney flocks" N. Z. J. Agri. Res., vol. 13, 1970, pp. 735-752.
[16] G. N. Hinch, J. J. Lynch, J. V. Nolan, R. A. Leng, B. M. Bindon, and L. R. Piper, "Supplementation of high fecundity Border Leicester x Merino ewes with a high protein feed: Its effect on lamb survival" Aust. J. Exp. Agric., vol. 36, 1996, pp.129-136.
[17] R. W. Kelly, E. J. Speijer, I. G. Ralph, and J. P. Newnham, "Lambing performances and wool production in maiden adult Merino ewes fed different amount of lupin seed in mid-pregnancy" Aust. J. Agri. Res., vol. 43, 1992, pp. 339-354.
[18] J. I. Kerslake, J. M. Everett-Hincks, and A. W. Campbell, "Lamb survival: A new examination of an old problem" Proc. N. Z. Soc. Anim. Prod., vol. 65, 2005, pp.13-18.
[19] K. Khan, "Effects of body condition and pre-lambing supplementation on ewe productivity" Masters Thesis, 1994, Oregon State University, Corvallis.
[20] P. Le-Neindre, P. M. Murphy, A. Boissy, I. W. Purvis, D. Lindsay, P. Orgeur, J. Bouix, and B. Bibé, "Genetics of maternal ability in cattle and sheep. Proc. 6th World Congr" Genet. Livest. Prod., vol. 27, 1998, pp. 23-30.
[21] J. J. Lynch, R. A. Leng, G. N. Hinch, J. Nolan, B. M. Bindon, L. R. Piper, "Effects of cottonseed supplementation on birth weights and survival of lambs from a range of litter sizes" Proc. Aust. Soc. Anim. Prod., vol. 18, 1990, pp. 516-521.
[22] P. M. Murphy, D. McNeill, J. S. Fisher, and D. R. Lindsay, "Strategic feeding of Merino ewes in late pregnancy to increase colostrum production" Proc. Aust. Soc. Anim. Prod., vol. 21, 1996, pp. 227-230.
[23] M. L. Nash, L. L. Hungerford, T. G. Nash, and G. M. Zinn, "Risk factors for prenatal and postnatal mortality in lambs" Vet. Rec., vol. 139, 1996, pp. 64-67.
[24] D. J. Nordby, R. A. Field, M. L. Riley, C. L. Johnson, and C. J. Kercher, "Effects of maternal under-nutrition during early pregnancy on postnatal growth in lambs" Proc. West. Sec. Am.Soc. Anim. Sci., vol. 37, 1986, pp. 92.
[25] R. Nowak, R. H. Porter, F. Lévy, P. Orgeur, and B. Schaal, "Role of mother-young interactions in the survival of offspring in domestic mammals" Rev. Reprod., vol. 5, 2000, pp.153-163.
[26] C. E. O-Connor, N. P. Jay, A. M. Nicol, and P. R. Beatson, "Ewe maternal behavior score and lamb survival" Proc. N. Z. Soc. Anim. Prod., vol. 45, 1985, pp. 159-162.
[27] P. Poindron, P. Le-Neindre, F. Lévy, and E. B. Keverne, "The physiological mechanisms of the acceptance of the newborn among sheep" Biol. Behav., vol. 9, 1984, pp. 65-88.
[28] I. G. Putu, P. Poindron, D. R. Lindsay, "A high level of nutrition during late pregnancy improves subsequent maternal behavior of Merino ewes" Proc. Aust. Soc. Anim. Prod., vol. 17, 1988, pp. 294-297.
[29] J. J. Robinson, T. G. McEvoy, and K. D. Sinclair, "Nutritional effects on foetal growth" Anim. Sci., vol. 68, 1999, pp. 315-331.
[30] J. P. Rowland, M. D. Salman, C. V. Kimberling, D. J. Schweitzer, and T. J. Keffe, "Epidemiologic factors involved in perinatal lamb mortality in four range sheep operations" Am. J. Vet. Res., vol. 53, 1992, pp. 262- 267.
[31] R. M. Sawalha, J. Conington, S. Brotherstone, and B. Villaneuva, "Analyses of lamb survival in Scottish Blackface sheep" Animal, vol. 1, 2007, pp. 151-157.
[32] SAS/STAT, User's Guide, Version 6, Cary NC, 1990.
[33] G. H. Scales, R. N. Burton, and R. A. Moss, "Lamb mortality, birth weight and nutrition in late pregnancy" N. Z. J. Agric. Res., vol. 29, 1986 pp. 75-82.
[34] M. P. Shipka, and S. P. Ford, "Relationship of circulating oestrogen and progesterone concentrations during late pregnancy and the onset phase of maternal behavior in the ewe" Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., vol. 31, 1991, pp. 91-99.
[35] B. B. Southey, S. L. Rodriguez-Zas, and K. A. Leymaster, "Competing risks analysis of lamb mortality in a terminal sire composite population" J. Anim. Sci., vol. 82, 2004, pp. 2892-2899.
[36] K. S. West, H. H. Meyer, and R. G. Sasser, "Ewe body condition and nutrition effects on embryonic loss" J. Anim. Sci., vol. 67(1), 1989, pp. 424.