Twenty four Coopworth ewes, selected on the basis of an increased ovarian response to lupin grain supplementation, were ovariectomised and fitted with a Foley catheter in the abomasum. They were individually penned and offered a low protein pelleted diet at maintenance levels. Following a five week stabilisation period 12 ewes were infused abomasally with 100g/d whey protein concentrate in 1 litre of water for 8 days. Twelve ewes received 1 litre of water only. Blood samples were collected four times daily for FSH analysis, from 2 days before until 2 days after infusion. Protein infusion did not influence FSH levels. Mean values were 8.5 ngFSH/ml plasma for both treatments and means for individual ewes ranged from 4.5 to 11.5 ng/ml. These results indicate that the reported increase in FSH with increased protein intake is not due to a direct effect on the pituitary gland.

SM, Francis, R Bickerstaffe, and D O'Connell

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 50, , 93-96, 1990
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