A serial slaughter experiment was conducted with sheep under continuous growth and during realimentation following body weight stasis at c. 20kg for 56 days. Undernutrition resulted in negative protein and energy balance. Skeletal remodelling facilitated growth in linear dimensions while protein, water and ash decreased or remained unchanged in bone. Bone weight increases were solely attributable to large increases in bone fat. Protein appeared to be depleted in similar proportions from muscle, bone and the whole body. Realimentation resulted in a trend for compensatory growth of muscle mass relative to bone length and protein content. Within bone there was a trend for restoration of bone protein content rather than growth in bone length. Bone weight was inadequate in describing these phenomena.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 45, , 85-88, 1985
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