Influence of soyabean meal supplementation on the resistance of Scottish Blackface lambs to haemonchosis
Protein supplementation improves the resistance of sheep to haemonchosis. This experiment investigated the Scottish blackface breed to establish whether dietary protein supplementation is still beneficial in a genetically resistant breed. Lambs were given either a basal diet or a diet supplemented with soyabean meal to give an additional 80 g crude protein kg dry matter(-1). The lambs were given an initial loading dose of Haemonchus contortus, followed by a trickle infection for 10 weeks. The weight gains of the lambs given the supplemented diet were greater and their carcases were leaner, irrespective of infection status. Infected animals on the basal diet were more anaemic and hypoalbuminaemic than animals receiving the supplemented diet, although there were no statistically significant differences in mean worm burdens or faecal egg counts.