Effects of feeding different trace mineral sources on performance and health of ‎Afshari ewes and lambs

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran

2 Former M. Sc. Student, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, ‎University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, ‎Zanjan, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Agricultural and Natural‏ ‏Resources Research and ‎Education Center, AREEO, Shahrekord, Iran

5 Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran

6 Post Doctoral Researcher, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of feeding different trace minerals (Zn, Cu, Mn, Se and Co) sources from 4 weeks pre- lambing until 5 week post-lambing on performance and health of Afshari ewes and lambs. Thirty six pregnant Afshari ewes were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatments at 32.5±5 d before expected lambing date. Experimental treatments were basal diet without supplemental trace minerals (Control, n=12), basal diet plus sulfate sources of trace minerals (Sulfate, n=12) and basal diet plus organic sources of trace minerals chelating to Glycine (Glycinate, n=12). In each treatment, ewes were balanced for fetal number, body weight (BW), Body condition score (BCS) and expected lambing date. Dry matter intake, BW, BCS and their changes, colostrum and milk yield and milk composition were not affected by treatments (P>0.05). There was no effect of treatments on serum metabolites concentrations, except a tendency (P=0.07) to increase in serum glucose concentrations pre-lambing for ewes receiving sulfate sources of trace minerals compared to those in Glycinate group. Birth weight of lambs was similar among treatments, but lambs BW from ewes fed glycinate source of trace minerals at 35 d was greatest among treatments (P= 0.05). Likewise, average daily gain (ADG) of lambs from Glycinate ewes tended to be greater at 35 and 70 d compared to control and sulfate groups (P=0.07). Overall, feeding chelated trace minerals per- and post-lambing Ashari ewes improved growth performance of lambs until 70d.


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