JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE
Volumen: 1, Numero: 1, Páginas: PP. 1-8
Several factors can affect lamb body weight (BW) and immune status during the first days of life, including colostrum source and timing of the first colostrum feeding. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of colostrum source (goat or sheep) and timing of the first colostrum feeding (2 or 14?h after birth) on lamb BW and immune status. In this study, 40 lambs were removed from their dams at birth and randomly assigned into 4 groups of 10 lambs each. Lambs were subsequently fed at 2 or 14?h after birth with goat or sheep colostrum. Blood samples and BW recording were performed before feeding. Blood plasma was used to measure the immunoglobulin concentration (IgG and IgM), chitotriosidase activity, and complement system activity (total and alternative pathways). In general, no differences in any of the measured variables were observed among the 4 groups, indicating that neither colostrum source nor timing of the first colostrum feeding had an effect on these variables. These findings may improve management on lamb farms that raise animals under artificial conditions, because our results indicate that it is not necessary to feed colostrum to lambs immediately after birth and that goat colostrum may be used to feed newborn lambs.