Supplemental feeding of lactating does increased body condition and circulating leptin but fails to improve reproductive efficiency
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Thirty six gestating Fallow does (Dama dama; BW=51.3kg) were allotted into groups: 1) Control (C; No Supplement; n=12), 2) Supplement (S; 4:1, corn:soybean meal; n=12), or 3) Rice Bran (R; 3:1:1, corn:soybean meal:20% fat rice bran; n=12) formulated to be isonitrogenous and isoenergetic and grazed coastal bermudagrass/ryegrass pastures. Groups S and R were fed .5kg ration/head/day for 112d. All does were weighed, body condition scored (BCS), and blood sampled at 7d intervals for 14d prior to and for 35d after weaning. Serum progesterone (P4) and leptin concentrations were determined using radioimmunoassay (RIA). Pregnancy was determined by ultrasonography 30 and 75 d after buck exposure. S does tended (P<.075) to lose less body weight (BW; -.062±.004kg/d) than C (-.073±.004kg/d) or R (-.071±.004kg/d). C does tended (P<.08) to have lower BCS than R but were lower (P<.002) than S. S does lost less (P<.001) BCS (-.636±.310) than C (-2.167±.297) with R being intermediate (-1.432±.310). Fawn birth weights did not differ (5.2±.2kg/d, 5.1±.2kg/d, 5.3 ±.2kg/d; C, S, and R respectively). C fawns had the lowest (P<.003) average daily gain (ADG; .128±.010kg), S the highest (.185±.010kg) and R intermediate (162±.010kg). Circulating leptin (ng/ml serum) increased over time (p<.006) and differed by treatment (p<.04) with S being the highest and C and R being similar (P<.10) and lowest. Preweaning P4 was higher (P<.003) in S (2.4±.2ng/ml) than either C (1.5±.2ng/ml) or R does (1.7±.2ng/ml). 100% of S does were estrous cycling before weaning compared with 66% of C and 75% of R. Postweaning P4 increased over time (P<.0001) but was not affected by treatment (P>.10). By d 30 of the breeding season, 100% of S does were pregnant compared with 91% of C and R and all does were pregnant by d 75. Inclusion of rice bran failed to improve performance but corn and soybean meal supplement increased BCS and circulating leptin. Weaning and buck exposure resulted in equal breeding performance in thinner does.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 37-43).
Candler, Kimberly Carol (2001). Supplemental feeding of lactating does increased body condition and circulating leptin but fails to improve reproductive efficiency. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from