Productive and Reproductive Efficiency of Ewes Kept on Tropical Pastures as a Function of the Suckling Lamb Treatments

K. L. S. M. Ferelli, C. C. B. F. Ítavo, L. C. V. Ítavo, G. T. dos Santos, M. I. L. Souza, G. K. A. de Melo, M. de M. S. Peres, N. da S. Heimbach, T. F. F. de S. Arco, E. S. de M. Soares, J. A. da Silva, P. C. G. da Silva, C. de Godoy, P. B. de Andrade, A. A. da S. Miguel


The aim of the research was to evaluate the productive and reproductive performances of ewes as a function of the supplementation offered to suckling lambs. The lambs were divided into two experimental treatments. Treatment (1) suckling lambs kept in pastures of Brachiaria-grass receiving mineral supplementation; and treatment (2) suckling lambs kept in pastures of Brachiaria-grass receiving concentrate supplementation in creep-feeding. Regardless of the nutritional treatment offered to the lambs, all matrices (female lambs and ewes) received 350 g of supplementation daily. Ewes from treatment-1 presented average 49 days to return to estrus. Ewes from treatment-2 presented, on average, 36 days to return to estrus. The body condition score (BCS) at weaning showed a significant difference between treatments. Ewes from treatment-1 presented a mean BCS of 1.75. Ewes from treatment-2 presented a mean BCS of 2.39. The other productive variables of lambs, such as weaning weight (kg), age at weaning (days), total weight gain (kg), and average daily gain of lambs, presented a significant difference between the nutritional treatments. Variables such as return to estrus and BCS were positively influenced by supplementation offered to lambs, which directly impacts the production efficiency and profitability of the production system. The lamb supplementation promotes indirect gains in the body condition score of ewes at weaning and, consequently, in the time to return of estrus in 13 days. Protein-energy supplementation in creep feeding to suckling lambs is recommended to improve the body condition score at weaning and decrease the return to estrus (days) of ewes. This nutritional tool is recommended to improve the supply of leaves and provide the best conditions for the selection and use of nutrients present in the leaves.


AOAC. 2000. Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC International. 17 ed. Gaithersburg, MD, USA.
Arco, T. F. F. S., C. C. B. F. Ítavo, L. C. V. Ítavo, A. M. Dias, G. S. Difante, E. V. C. de Silva, F. A. Borges, D. G. L. Borges, K. L. S. M. Ferelli, B. J. Rodrigues, A. A. S. Miguel, C. de Godoy, & E. S. M. Soares. 2021. Effects of supplementation on production and age anticipation a first mating of ewe lambs in tropical pastures. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 53:481.
Barbero, R. P., A. C. de C. Ribeiro, A. M. Moura, V. Z. Longhini, T. F. de A. Matos, & M. M. D. Barbero. 2021. Production potential of beef cattle in tropical pastures: A review. Cienc. Anim. Bras. 22:e-69609.
Biehl, M. V., M. V. C. F. Junior, J. P. R. Barroso, I. Susin, E. M. Ferreira, D. M. Polizel, & A. V. Pires. 2019. The reused progesterone device has the same effect on short or long estrus synchronzation protocols in tropical sheep. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 51:1545-1549.
Buonaiuto, G., A. Palmonari, F. Ghiaccio, G. Visentin, D. Cavallini, L. Campidonico, A. Formigoni, & L. M. E. Mammi. 2021. Effects of complete replacement of corn flour with sorghum flour in dairy cows fed Parmigiano Reggiano dry hay-based ration. Ital. J. Anim. Sci. 20:826-833.
Buso, R. R., C. C. Campos, T. R. Santos, J. P. E. Saut, & R. M. Santos. 2018. Retained placenta and subclinical endometritis: prevalence and relation with reproduction performance of crossbred dairy cows. Pesqui. Vet. Bras. 38:1-5.
Campos, N. R. F., G. S. Difante, A. H. N. Rangel, S. A. Urbano, J. V. E. Neto, A. B. G. Costa, R. T. C. Netto, P. H. C. Ribeiro, & J. I. G. Bezerra. 2019. Supplementation strategies and their effects on ewes colostrum and milk compositions in the initial third lactation period. Semin. Cienc. Agrar. 40:1535-1542.
Campos, N. R. F., G. S. Difante, A. L. C. Gurgel, C. M. Costa, D. B. Montagner, J. V. E. Neto, L. C. V. Ítavo, C. C. B. F. Ítavo, R. T. C. Netto, E. L. L. Véras, & A. B. G. Costa. 2022. Effect of supplementation of ewes in the final third of gestation on the development of their lambs. R. Bras. Zootec. 51:e20210094.
Ferreira, E. M., M. V. C. Ferraz Jr., J. S. Biava, R. G. de Assis, J. P. R. Barroso, D. M. Polizel, L. C. de Araújo, & A. V. Pires. 2020. Impications of carbohydrate sources and rate of body weight gain on puberty in ewe lambs in tropical climate conditions. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 52:373-378.
Freitas-de-Melo, A., R. Ungerfeld, A. Orihuela, M. J. Hotzel, & R. Pérez-Clariget. 2017. Early mother-young relationship and feeding behaviour of lambs are unaffected by low pasture allowance until the beginning of the last third of gestation in single-bearing ewes. Anim. Prod. Sci. 58:1-7.
Goering, H. K. & P. J. Van Soest. 1970. Forage fiber Analysis: Apparatus Reagents, Procedures and Some Applications. Washington: USDA.
Heimbach, N. S., C. C. B. F. Ítavo, L. C. V. Ítavo, R. C. Brumatti, G. S. Difante, A. M. Dias, K. L. Ferelli, T. F. F. S. Arco, A. L. C. Gurgel, C. O. O. Frangiotti, & P. C. G. Silva. 2019. Weaning age of lambs crep-fed while grazing on Marandu Pasture. J. Agric. Sci. 7:1-16.
Heimbach, N. S., C. C. B. F. Ítavo, L. C. V. Ítavo, A. M. Dias, G. S. Difante, F. A. Borges, A. L. C. Gurgel, K. L. S. Monteiro, C. O. O. Frangiotti, T. F. F. S. Arco, M. C. M. Costa, & M. V. G. Niwa. 2020. Productive and reproductive performance of ewes at 60 and 90 days postpartum treated by different weaning system. Trop. Anim. Sci. J. 433:248-253.
Kenyon, P. R., S. K. Maloney, & D. Blache. 2014. Review of sheep body condition score in relation to production characteristics. N. Z. J. Sci. Technol. Sect. B. 57:38-64.
Lopes, N. H., F. B. B. de Oliveira, A. R. Montenegro, C. P. da Silva, C. C. L. Fernandes, & D. Rondina. 2019. Induction of the post-breeding stem of additional goats with different sources of polynesaturated fatty acids. Cienc. Anim. 29:50-54.
Lozano, H., M. Raes, J. J. Vargas, A. Ballieu, H. Grajales, C. Manrique, J. F. Beckers, & N. Kirschvink. 2020. Onset of puberty and regularity of oestral cycles in ewe lambs of four breeds under high-altitude conditions in a non-seasonal country. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 52: 3395-3402.
Mohapatra, A., K. De V. Prakash, D. Kumar, & S. M. K. Naqvi. 2020. Effect of different milking methods on milk yield and growth of lambs. IJSR 26:62-66.
Melo, G. K. A., C. C. B. F. Ítavo, L. C. V. Ítavo, F. A. Borges, A. M. Dias, M. G. Morais, J. A. Silva, P. C. G. Silva, K. L. S. M. Ferelli, & F. A. Reis. 2019. Performance, ingestive behavior and gastrointestinal helminths control of suckling lambs supplemented in creep-fed and not supplemented in tropical pasture. J. Agric. Sci. 7:87-106.
Melo, G. K. A., C. C. B. F. Ítavo, L. C. V. Ítavo, R. C. Brumatti, J. A. da Silva, K. L. S. M. Ferelli, P. C. G. da Silva, T. F. F. S. Arco, & R. A. A. de Lemos. 2022. Economic impact of poisoning by Brachiaria grass in lambs for birth to finishing receiving different levels of supplementation. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 54:1-11.
Merchant, I., A. Orihuela, R. Vasquez, & V. Aguirre. 2021. Characterization of the lactation curve and milk quality in Santa Cruz sheep (Ovis aries). Rev. Mex. Cienc. Pecu. 12:644-652.
NRC. 2007. Nutrient Requirements of Small Ruminants: Sheep, Goats, Cervids, and New World Camelids. The National Academic Press, Washington, DC.
Oliveira, P. A., L. G. A. Cirne, D. C. Almeida, G. J. C. Oliveira, S. M. P. L. Jaeger, E. S. O. Strada, A. R. Bagaldo, & R. L. Oliveira. 2014. Reproductive performance of crossbred ewes race Santa Ines in Brachiaria humidicula and effect of sex on weight gain of lambs. Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec. 66:85–92.
Podleskis, M. R., E. L. A. Ribeiro, M. A. Rocha, L. D. F. Silva, I. Y., Mizubuti, R. M. Mori, D. O. L. Ferreira, & Casimiro, T. R. 2005. Milk production of Hampshire Down and Ile de France ewes up to 84 days of lactation. Semin. Cienc. Agrar. 26:117-125.
Poli, C., A. Monteiro, T. Devincenze, F. de Albuquerque, J. H. da Motta, L. I. Borges, & J. P. Muir. 2020. Management strategies for lamb production on pasture-based systems in subtropical regions: A review. Front. Vet. Sci. 7:543.
Risques, P., L. F. Cozer, J. C. Silva, C. D. M. Toma, L. S. Muraro, A. M. C. Carvalho, M. Ferrante, & H. S. Toma. 2020. Influence of breastfeeding and postpartum anestrus on the reproductive efficiency of the bovine female. PubVet. 14:1-9.
Silva, P. C. G., C. C. B. F. Ítavo, L. C. V. Ítavo, M. N. B. Gomes, G. L. D. Feijó, K. L. S. M. Ferelli, N. S. Heimbach, J. A. Silva, G. K. A. de Melo, & M. W. F Pereira. 2020. Carcass traits and meat quality of Texel lambs raised in Brachiaria pasture and feedlot systems. Anim. Sci. J. 91:1-11.
Silva, J. A., C. C. B. F. Ítavo, L. C. V. Ítavo, F. A. Batista, M. M. S. Peres, N. S. Heimbach, G. K. A. de Melo, P. C. G. da Silva. K. L. S. M. Ferelli, T. F. F. S. Arco, C. de Godoy, & A. A. S. Miguel. 2022. Different nutritional systems at suckling and finishing phases of lambs grazing on tropical pasture. Trop. Anim. Sci. J. 45:187-194.
Walter, L. L., T. Gartner, E. Gernand, A. Wehrend, & K. Donat. 2022. Effects of parity and stage of lactation on trend and variability of metabolic markers in dairy cows. Animals. 12: 1-28.


K. L. S. M. Ferelli
C. C. B. F. Ítavo
L. C. V. Ítavo (Primary Contact)
G. T. dos Santos
M. I. L. Souza
G. K. A. de Melo
M. de M. S. Peres
N. da S. Heimbach
T. F. F. de S. Arco
E. S. de M. Soares
J. A. da Silva
P. C. G. da Silva
C. de Godoy
P. B. de Andrade
A. A. da S. Miguel
Author Biography

L. C. V. Ítavo, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinaria e Zootecnia - Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul

Prof. Dr. Luís Carlos Vinhas Ítavo Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciência Animal
Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia - FAMEZ
Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul - UFMS
Av. Senador Filinto Muller, 2443. Vila Ipiranga. CEP 79074-460
contato: +5567-3345-3572 / 99981-1728
email alternativo:
FerelliK. L. S. M., ÍtavoC. C. B. F., ÍtavoL. C. V., dos SantosG. T., SouzaM. I. L., de MeloG. K. A., PeresM. de M. S., HeimbachN. da S., ArcoT. F. F. de S., SoaresE. S. de M., da SilvaJ. A., da SilvaP. C. G., de GodoyC., de AndradeP. B., & MiguelA. A. da S. (2023). Productive and Reproductive Efficiency of Ewes Kept on Tropical Pastures as a Function of the Suckling Lamb Treatments. Tropical Animal Science Journal, 46(2), 180-189.

Article Details

List of Cited By :

Crossref logo