Under pastoral conditions, lambs are often exposed to wind, cold and rain that result in neonatal mortality. Thus any improved thermoregulatory response has the potential to increase lamb survival. Especially in light lambs, there is a strong negative relationship between birth weight and mortality (Everett-Hincks & Dodds 2008). Birth weight also regulates the lamb’s thermoregulatory capability (Kerslake et al. 2010). Lamb birth weight is influenced by ewe live weight, ewe bodycondition score and the variation in these parameters (Everett-Hincks & Dodds 2008; Schreurs et al. 2012). Therefore, ewe live weight and ewe body condition score may influence the thermoregulatory capability of the newborn lamb and its survival to weaning.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 73, Hamilton, 143-145, 2013
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