SUMMARY
  • Orego-Stim is known to benefit maternal energy balance and lactation performance and so was included in ewe concentrate rations to understand effects in ovines.
  • In this trial (Wilkinson et al., 2019), Orego-Stim was shown to improve ewe dry matter intake (DMI) of forage around lambing and increased lamb weight gain.
  • Orego-Stim was also seen to help to alleviate ewe live weight loss during early lactation, this conferred benefits in energy efficiency may improve subsequent lambing performance.

 

BACKGROUND
  • Orego-Stim is a high quality plant based eubiotic, containing 100% natural oregano essential oil that has been shown to improve sow feed intake and piglet performance (Tan et al., 2015).
  • This trial was designed in order to evaluate the effect of feeding Orego-Stim in ewe concentrates on ewe and lamb performance.

 

TRIAL DESIGN

An independent trial was carried out at Harper Adams University, UK where 48 twin bearing Suffolk x Mule ewes were allocated by parity, live weight (LW) and body condition score (BCS) to one of three dietary treatment groups. All ewes had ad libitum access to good quality grass silage and were provided either a control concentrate (Control), the control concentrate with 1.0g/kg Orego-Stim (OS-1) included or the control concentrate with 2.0g/kg Orego-Stim (OS-2) included. Ewes were housed individually from week 6 pre-partum to week 4 post-partum. Following this, ewes and lambs were group housed and maintained on dietary treatments until weaning at eight weeks of age.

RESULTS

  • Orego-Stim included at 2.0g/kg in the concentrate tended to increase ewe forage intake and significantly reduced ewe live weight loss during early lactation.
  • Including Orego-Stim in ewe concentrate at 2.0g/kg increased lamb daily live-weight gain from week 4 post-partum to finish (data not shown for brevity).
  • The maternal reserves maintained in the ewe will likely result in economic benefits and improved profitability during subsequent production cycles.

 

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