Effects of Protein and Energy Feeding on Ovine Oocyte Production and Developmental Capacity

W. A. Kiker, M. W. Salisbury, B. J. May, G. R. Engdahl


A study was conducted to determine the effects of protein and energy on oocyte production in ewes.  Eighty-one multiparous whiteface ewes were randomly divided into three feeding treatments, and penned in groups of three, which served as the experimental unit.  Ewes were placed on one of three feeding treatments, wheat hay (maintenance), mixed grain with added protein, or mixed grain with added energy.  Ewes were fed for 35 d then ovaries were removed, trimmed, weighed, lacerated, and rinsed with TL Hepes.  Recovered oocytes were graded and matured in the incubator for 24 h in 5% CO2 at 38.5°C.  Following incubation, oocytes were removed, rinsed and activated to begin development.  Oocytes were incubated in a blood gas mixture for 7 d and evaluated at d 4 and d 7 for cleavage rates and morula formation.  Results yielded no difference (P > 0.05) among feeding treatments with respect to ovarian weights, oocyte numbers, quality scores, or developmental rates.


sheep; oocyctes; ovaries; protein; energy

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