Animal Production Research Institute, Agricultural Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt.


Thirty-six crossbred ewes (½ finish Landrace x ½ Rahmani) aged 3-6 years and averaged live body weight (47.3 ± 1.73 kg) were randomly divided into three groups (12 ewes in each) according to their live body weight and reproductive history. All ewes were fed the same basal ration contained (CFM 50% and fresh berseem 50% on DM basis. Rocket oil (watercress oil) was received daily at levels 0.0,1.00 and 2 mg / 10 kg LBW for G1, G2 and G3, respectively. The experimental period was lasted for 150 days consisted of 3 periods, (late pregnancy 45 days), suckling (60 days) and rest or flushing (45 days). Income ewes in mating season was also studied. The results showed that the body weight changes of ewes during the different physiological stages as affected by rocket oil treatment were significantly gradually increased. The changes were higher (P < 0.05) in G3 by about 9.8% and in G2 by about 9.2% than control (8.2%). Average 6% FCM yield was higher (P < 0.05) in G2 and G3 than G1 being 564.7 and 626.5 vs 499.5 g, respectively. Percentage and yield of milk constituents were higher (P < 0.05) in G3 and G2 than G1 expect lactose% and solid not fat%. Ewes in G3 and G2 treated with rocket oil attained the best utilization efficiency as DM, TDN and DCP compared with those in G1. Concentrations of serum total protein and albumin were increased (P < 0.05) with rocket oil additive as compared with G1. While, creatinine, AST cholesterol and triglyceride concentration in blood serum were the highest (P < 0.05) in G1 compared with G2 and G3. Meantime the other serum blood parameters (globulin, urea and ALT concentration) were insignificantly differed among the experimental groups. Ewes treated with rocket oil (G2 and G3) showed significantly (P < 0.05) higher LBW at mating fertility rate%, pregnancy rate% lambing rate%, little size and twining rate% than those of control. Meantime the other tested characteristics showed higher values in G2 and G3 than G1 but without significant differences. Weaning weight, total gain and average daily gain of born lambs along with feed conversion were higher (P < 0.05) in G3 and G2 than G1. Semen quality (ejaculate volume, initial motility, live sperm, abnormal sperm, sperm cell concentration and total sperm) of lambs were better (P < 0.05) in G3 and G2 than in control. Adding rocket oil at level 1.0 and 2.0 mg / 10 kg / L.B.W during feeding crossbred ewes lead to significant (P < 0.05) improvement in their productive and reproductive performances along with higher feed efficiency. Also growth and reproductive performance of lambs from their dams were improved.


Main Subjects