Sherief Abdel-Raheem, G Mahmoud, Waleed Senosy, Taymour El-Sherry


The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of pre and post-lambing intramuscular (i.m.) injections of vitamin E (VE) and selenium (Se) on the performance, reproductive indices and metabolic status of Ossimi ewes. A total of 20 pregnant ewes were divided randomly into two equal groups of ten animals. The control group (CG) was administered 3 ml of normal saline. The treated group (TG) was administered a combination of 5 mg of sodium selenite and 450 mg of VE twice weekly for 2 weeks pre and post lambing. The performance, reproductive indices, colostrum and milk mineral profiles, blood metabolites and antioxidant enzyme biomarkers were investigated in this experiment. VE and Se supplementation had a significant effect on ewe, lamb performance, colostrum and milk mineral profiles. The treated ewes lost less weight (0.7 kg) compared with the ewes in the control group (3.68 kg) on 30th day postpartum (P<0.001). Lambs born to treated ewes were heavier than those born to control ewes (4.47 kg vs 3.99 kg, respectively), gained more daily weight quickly (268.66 vs. 226.00 g, respectively, P<0.001) and weighed more on 30th day  post-lambing (12.53 vs. 10.77 kg, respectively, P<0.001). Treated ewes had higher concentrations of blood glucose, total protein, total cholesterol, antioxidant enzyme biomarkers, and lower concentrations of serum non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA). VE and Se supplementation had a significant effect (P<0.05) on postpartum reproductive performance of ewes in terms of fast uterine involution, earlier resumption of ovarian function and ovulation with large size ovulatory follicles, and greater numbers of small, medium, and large-sized follicles. In conclusion, VE and Se supplementation during late gestation and early lactation could be considered an effective strategy for minimizing the weight loss of ewes, enhancing lamb performance, the antioxidant and metabolic status, which improves the reproductive performance of Ossimi ewes.

Key words: vitamin E; selenium; lamb performance; reproductive performance; antioxidant status; Ossimi ewes

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