The relationship between placental characteristics and lamb birth weight in Akkaraman Turkish native sheep breed

Placental traits affect birth weight

  • Uğur Şen Ondokuz Mayis University
Keywords: Placenta, fetal development, birth weight, mortality, Akkaraman sheep


Introduction – The size and nutrient transfer capacity of the placenta plays a central role in determining the prenatal growth trajectory fetus, resulting in alteration birth weight.

Aim - The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between placental characteristics and lamb birth weight in Akkaraman sheep breed.

Materials and methods - The 63 single born Akkaraman male lambs with low (n= 18), moderate (n= 26) and high (n= 19) birth weight (BW) and their placentas were used as experimental materials. Placental weight (PW), the numbers (TCN) and weights (TCW) of cotyledon were determined. Length (CL), depth (CDe), diameter (CDia) and volume (CV) of cotyledons were also measured with an electronic digital compass. The total cotyledon surface area (TCSA), placental efficiency (PE), cotyledon efficiency (CE), volumetric cotyledon efficiency (VCE) and cotyledon density (CD) were calculated for each ewe.

Results - Placental weight (PW), cotyledon weight, total and small cotyledon number (SCN), total weight, and the number of large cotyledon in lambs with low BW were lower than moderate and high BW (p < 0.05). High BW lambs had higher PE, CE, and VCE values than moderate and low BW (p < 0.05). Additionally, positive correlations were observed between BW, CE, and VCE (p < 0.05). A significant relation was calculated between BW and LCN (p < 0.05). The mortality rate of high lambs BW was lower (p < 0.05) than moderate and low BW until weaning.

Discussion – Lamb BW changed with placental characteristics, and lambs with higher BW were found to have better placental components.

Conclusions - The results of the present study revealed that placental components affect BW in Akkaraman lambs and poor placental characteristics may have a significant impact on survival until weaning.

Original Articles