A cost-effective way toincrease productivity measured as kg lamb weaned per ewe, from sheep farming is to increase lambing percentage. However, late fetal and early neonatal twin lambs have reduced body weight (McCoard et al., 2000) and ~20% less skeletal muscle mass than singletons (McCoard et al.,2001) with carryover effects on post-natal growth performance (Afolayan et al.,2007; De Blasio et al.,2007), and thus profits. Increased knowledge of the impact of nutrition and other environmental factors on the mechanisms regulating fetal growth, in particular skeletal muscle growth, is essential in order to develop new strategies to enhance meat production performance.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 70, Palmerston North, 199-201, 2010
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