A study of the Romney fat lamb ewe, with particular reference to milk secretion and its effect on fat lamb production : thesis submitted by "392" [Alan Graham Logan] for the M. Agr. Sc. degree at Massey University

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One of the distinguishing characteristics of mammals, is the dependance of the young, during early post-natal life, on nourish­ment secreted by the mammary gland of the mother. Hence milk secretion is of fundamental importance in all our farm animals with the exception of poultry. The essential attributes of milk (viz., high water content and liquid state, high digestibility, high protein content of excellent biological value, high calcium and phosphorus and the presence of most of the necessary vitamins) are specially suited to the needs of young rapidly growing animals. In dairy cattle extensive study has been made of milk­ producing ability and conscious effort made to improve this by breeding, and nutrition. Comparison of the characteristics of modern dairy cattle (highly developed milking qualities but inferior meat carcasses) and of beef cattle (early-maturing and good carcass quality but often poor milk yield) clearly indicate the extent of improvement from the wild form and the variation in productive efficiency of different types. Valuable work on the milk-producing ability of other species, and its relationship to the welfare of the young has been carried out by Bonsma and Oosthuizen (1) and Donald (7) with Sows; and Ritzman (30), Fuller and Kleinhanz (10), Neidig and Iddings (24), Bonsma (2,3), 30a, Pierce (27,28) with ewes of non-milking breeds, and by several workers with specialised milking sheep, Scheingraber (31), Muhlberg (23), Maule (17). [From Introduction]
Romney Marsh sheep, Milk yield, Physiology, Sheep milk, Sheep