Benefits of ewe lamb mating (at 8 to 9 months of age) include improved lifetime production, increased rates of genetic gain and higher net profits (Kenyon et al., 2008 and references therein). These benefits of ewe lamb mating are only achieved if the ewe lamb successfully rears its offspring to weaning. For mature ewes, a reduction of mortality before weaning by 1% is equivalent to an extra $10 gross margin per hectare (Morel & Kenyon 2006). To maximise farm profits it is necessary to understand the factors that influence pre-weaning mortality of lambs born to ewe lambs so that appropriate management strategies can be implemented.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 70, Palmerston North, 101-103, 2010
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