Effects of the maternal behavior score (MBS) on weaning weight and litter survival in sheep

Yilmaz A., Karaca S., Bingöl M., Kor A., Kaki B.

AFRICAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, vol.6, no.6, pp.1393-1397, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.1393-1397
  • Keywords: Maternal ability, MBS, behavior, survival, weaning weight, litter survival, sheep, DWARF NANNY GOATS, BORN KIDS, LAMBS, EWES, DJALLONKE, TWIN
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


This study intends to describe the differences concerning maternal behavior score between the different genotypes and groups of the age of dam in less selected Norduz, Karakas, and Ile-de-FrancexAkkaraman (G1)xKarakas crosses, and also aims to determine the effects of Maternal Behavior Score (MBS) on weaning weight and survival of lambs in genotypes studied. Experimental subjects were 92 heads of the 2, 3 and 4 years-old of the Norduz, karakas and Ile-de-FrancexAkkaraman (G1)xKarakas crosses. The MBS was scored on a 5-point scale based on the distance a ewe retreats from her lambs when the shepherd is tagging them. Within 24 h of birth, maternal behavior score was evaluated, and survival of the lambs was calculated from birth to weaning and at the same time measured the weaning weight in lambs. We detected that in the ewes lambing the first time MBS were lower than those that they were lambed before (P < 0.01). Similarly, there were the significant differences between genotypes; less selected Norduz sheep had higher maternal behavior score than Karakas and Ile-de-FrancexAkkaraman (G1)xKarakas crosses (P < 0.01). The effects of the maternal behavior on weaning weight and survival of the lambs were not found, statistically. It is concluded that with intense improvement programs in genotypes, a reduction regarding maternal behavior score is observed. In other words, the intense improvement programs in extensive animal breeding reduce the maternal ability in sheep.