International Journal of Agricultural Sciences ISSN: 2167-0447 Vol. 12 (1), pp. 001-005, January, 2022. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

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

Ayhan Yilmaz1*, Serhat Karaca2, Mehmet Bingöl2, A kin Kor2 and Bari Kaki2

1Hizan Vocational School, Bitlis Eren University, 13000, Bitlis, Turkey.

2Faculty of Agriculture, Yuzuncu Yil University, 65080, Van, Turkey.

Accepted 21 September, 2021


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, Karaka , and Ile-de-FrancexAkkaraman (G1)xKaraka 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, karaka and Ile-de-FrancexAkkaraman (G1)xKaraka 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 Karaka and Ile-de-FrancexAkkaraman (G1)xKaraka 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.

Key words: Maternal ability, MBS, behavior, survival, weaning weight, litter survival, sheep.