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Lamb viability is improved by supplementing Docosahexaenoic acid for a specific time period during late gestation

  • R M Pickard (a1), A P Beard (a1), K Gentle (a1), E C Scott-Baird (a1) and S A Edwards (a1)...

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Previous investigations have shown lamb vigour to be improved by including long chain omega-3 fatty acids in maternal diets during late pregnancy (Capper et al., 2003; Dawson and Edgar 2005; Pickard et al., 2005). However, these trials fail to elucidate whether there is a period in late gestation when supplementing diets with omega-3s would be optimal. Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are found in high concentrations in brain and nervous tissue (Arbuckle and Innis, 1993), and are therefore required at times of neural and brain tissue growth. This study explored the effects of feeding an algal source of EFAs, with a high content of DHA, during different time periods on measures of lamb viability.

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Arbuckle, LD & Innis, SM (1993) Docosahexaenoic acid is transferred through maternal diet to milk and to tissues of natural milk-fed piglets. Journal of Nutrition 123, 1668-1675.
Capper, JL, Wilkinson, RG, Sinclair, LA, Pattinson, SE & Mackenzie, AM (2003) 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, 7.
Dawson, LER & Edgar, H (2005) Effect of source and level of fish oil for ewes in late pregnancy on subsequent performance. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science, 141.
Pickard, RM, Beard, AP, Seal, CJ & Edwards, SA (2005) Lamb vigour is affected by DHA supplementation of ewe diets during late pregnancy. EAAP, 312.

Lamb viability is improved by supplementing Docosahexaenoic acid for a specific time period during late gestation

  • R M Pickard (a1), A P Beard (a1), K Gentle (a1), E C Scott-Baird (a1) and S A Edwards (a1)...

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