Effects of early weaning and lambing time on accelerated lambing in Polypay sheep

TitleEffects of early weaning and lambing time on accelerated lambing in Polypay sheep
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1983
AuthorsHulet CV, Stellflug J.N., Knight A.D
Date PublishedAugust 1, 1983
Keywordsearly, effects, lambing, Polypay sheep, weaning

Effects of early weaning, lactation, and day-of-year lambing on the ability of Polypay ewes to rebreed following winter and summer lambings were evaluated. Winter lambing ewes did not successfully rebreed while lactating. However, when winter-born lambs were weaned at 31 days postpartum, more ewes rebred and produced summer lambs (35.7%) than when lambs were weaned at 41 days postpartum (23.6%). Ewes that lambed during the early part of the winter lambing period had an advantage over later lambing ewes in the percentage which subsequently lambed the following summer. This was apparently the result of a difference in length of breeding exposure rather than a higher fertility rate during the early part of the breeding period. When summer lambing ewes were rebred during the early part of the summer breeding period (late summer to early fall), stress associated with lactation did not affect subsequent winter lambing performance. Summer lambing ewes belonging to a late weaning (80 days) treatment group did not differ (P>0.05) from those belonging to an early weaning (31 days) treatment group in winter fertility, prolificacy, day-of-year lambing or lambing interval.