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Gabriella Gronqvist

Doctor of Philosophy, (Animal science)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The effect of maternal nutrition during mid-to-late pregnancy on ewe and lamb behaviour and the association with lamb survival

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

The behaviour of the ewe and her lambs can affect lamb survival and twin- and triplet-born lambs are known to have lower survival rates than singletons. Ms Grönqvist investigated the effect of ewe mid-pregnancy body condition score and nutrition on ewe and lamb behaviour under New Zealand pastoral farming conditions, and the association between behaviour and survival. She analysed the behaviour expressed of the ewe and her lambs at 12 to 24 hours after birth. Her research showed evidence that lambs born to ewes offered the pregnancy maintenance diet exhibited a greater need, possibly due to a weaker ewe-lamb bond than lambs born to ewes offered unlimited feed. In both twin- and triplet-born lambs their following behaviour can be used as an indicator of mortality. She concludes that the nutrition of the ewe during pregnancy affects the behaviour of multiple-born lambs and that behaviour may be used to predict survival.

Professor Paul Kenyon
Professor Kevin Stafford
Dr Rene Corner-Thomas
Associate Professor Rebecca Hickson

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