Comparative aspects of resistance to body-cooling in newborn lambs and kids : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Agricultural Science in Animal Science at Massey University
THE PROBLEM OF PERINATAL MORTALITY IN LAMBS AND KIDS Fibre-producing goats are becoming an increasingly important species on New Zealand farms. There is a considerable lack of information about the physiology of goats, especially as it relates to the development of appropriate management strategies. For instance, goats are reputed to be more susceptible than sheep to cold, wet, windy conditions but comparisons between the species have not been reported. Newborn kids are thought to be very susceptible to cold-stress, but it is not clear whether this is a function of their low birth weight or some particular characteristic of the species ( such as a low capacity for heat production) which leads to high mortality. The problem of kid mortality is important from the viewpoints of both animal welfare and economic loss. The extent of kid losses in New Zealand has not been investigated, but industry sources suggest that kid mortality is high. In particular, deaths occur during inclement weather. It is expected that losses will increase with increasing goat numbers and the consequent reduction in management intensity.