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The effect of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid and vitamin E supplementation of pregnant ewes on neonatal lamb behaviour and lamb growth

  • J. L. Capper (a1), R. G. Wilkinson (a1), S. E. Pattinson (a1), A. M. Mackenzie (a1) and L. A. Sinclair (a1)...

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Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential components of cellular membranes and are associated with prostaglandin synthesis. Supplementing ewes with long-chain PUFAs during gestation has been demonstrated to increase gestation length and improve lamb vigour (Capper et al., 2002). Furthermore, increasing the dietary vitamin E supplied to pregnant ewes is reported to increase lamb growth rate (Gentry et al., 1992). However, fish oil supplementation during lactation may reduce milk component yield and lamb growth rate (Capper et al., 2002). The objective of this experiment was to investigate the effects of dietary long-chain PUFA and vitamin E supplementation of pregnant ewes on lamb performance.

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Capper, J. L., Wilkinson, R. G., Sinclair, L. A., Pattinson, S. E. and Mackenzie, A. M. 2002. The effect of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid and vitamin E supplementation of ewes on neonatal lamb vigour, lamb growth and colostrum parameters. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science Annual Meeting. 2002, p.7.
Gentry, P. C., Ross, T. T., Oetting, B. C. and Birch, K. D. 1992. Effects of supplemental d-α-tocopherol on preweaning lamb performance, serum and colostrum tocopherol levels and immunoglobulin G titers. Sheep Research Journal 8 95100.

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