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Doctor of Philosophy, (Animal science)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Sciences
The effect of ewe nutrition during pregnancy on the reproductive system of the offspring
This thesis describes a body of work investigating the effects of maternal size and feeding level during pregnancy on offspring growth, reproductive development and performance, in sheep farmed under New Zealand grazing conditions. Results indicate that ovarian cell development of the female offspring during fetal and adult life was altered by varying dam size at the time of conception and dam nutrition during pregnancy, however there was no effects on adult female reproductive performance. In male offspring, only minor effects of dam size on fetal testicular cell development were observed. Maternal nutrition did not alter testicular cell development, however, minor effects were observed on adult male reproductive performance. Future studies would be required to examine the possible longer term effects of maternal size and nutrition on lifetime performance of the offspring and more extreme minimum and maximum feeding levels could be considered.
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Last updated on Tuesday 04 April 2017