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Danitsja Van Der Linden

Doctor of Philosophy, (Animal Science)
Study Completed: 2010
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Ewe size and nutrition during pregnancy: Effects of metabolic and productive performance of the offspring

Ms van der Linden investigated the effects of ewe size (heavy vs. light) and nutrition (maintenance vs. ad libitum) during pregnancy on the reproductive, metabolic and lactational performance of female offspring. She found no effect of dam size on reproductive or metabolic performance. However, offspring born to mothers fed maintenance during pregnancy did show greater glucose production in response to an adrenaline challenge. These same dams also gave birth to and weaned heavier lambs, showed greater milk yields, lactose percentages, and lactose and crude protein yields than offspring born to well-fed dams. This study showed that it is possible to alter the performance of the offspring by feeding dams differently during pregnancy; the so-called fetal-programming effect, and this could potentially increase the production potential of the NZ ewe population.

Professor Paul Kenyon
Dr Sam Peterson
Professor Hugh Blair
Dr Catriona Jenkinson

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