Correlations between growth and wool quality traits of genetically divergent Australian lambs in response to canola or flaxseed oil supplementation

Malau-Aduli, Aduli E.O., Nguyen, Don V., Le, Hung V., Nguyen, Quang V., Otto, John R., Malau-Aduli, Bunmi S., and Nichols, Peter D. (2019) Correlations between growth and wool quality traits of genetically divergent Australian lambs in response to canola or flaxseed oil supplementation. PLoS ONE, 14 (1). e0208229.

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Abstract

The correlations between growth and wool traits in response to canola and flaxseed oil supplementation were evaluated in Australian prime lambs. Sixty dual-purpose prime lambs including purebred Merino and crossbred lambs were allocated to one of five treatments of lucerne hay basal diet supplemented with isocaloric and isonitrogenous wheat-based pellets. Treatments were: no oil inclusion (Control); 2.5% canola oil; 5% canola oil; 2.5% flaxseed oil and 5% flaxseed oil, with lamb groups balanced by breed and gender. Each lamb was daily supplemented with 1kg of pellets and had free access to lucerne hay and water throughout the 7-week feeding trial, after a 3-week adaptation. Individual animal basal and supplementary pellet feed intakes were recorded daily, while body conformation traits, body condition scores and liveweights were measured on days 0, 21, 35 and 49. The lambs were dye-banded on the mid-side and shorn before commencing the feeding trial and mid-side wool samples were collected from the same dye-banded area of each lamb at the end of the experiment. Correlations between wool quality traits and lamb performance were non-significant (P>0.05). Oil supplementation had no detrimental effect on lamb growth and wool quality traits (P > 0.05). Gender significantly affected wither height gain and fibre diameter. There were significant interactions between oil supplementation and lamb breed on chest girth. The correlations between clean fleece yield (CFY) and other wool quality traits were moderate ranging from 0.29 to 0.55. Moderate to high correlations between fibre diameter (FD) and other wool quality traits were detected (0.46–0.99) with the strongest relationship between FD and wool spinning fineness (SF). The relationship between CFY and wool comfort factor (CF) were positive, while negative relationships between CFY and the others were observed. A combination of 5% oil supplementation and genetics is an effective and strategic management tool for enhancing feed efficiency and growth performance without negative effects on wool quality in dual-purpose lamb production. This is a good outcome for dual-purpose sheep farmers. It essentially means the absorbed nutrients in supplemented lambs yielded good growth performance without any detrimental impact on wool quality; a win-win case of nutrient partitioning into the synthesis of muscle and wool without compromising either traits.

Item ID: 56186
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: © 2019 Malau-Aduli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2018 23:54
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0702 Animal Production > 070204 Animal Nutrition @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0702 Animal Production > 070201 Animal Breeding @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830310 Sheep - Meat @ 100%
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