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Maternal nutrition during late pregnancy and lactation: consequences for neonatal health and development - LS3626

The objectives of the research proposal are to:
(i) develop economically viable feeding regimes during late pregnancy in order to improve maternal energy status throughout this critical period, and thus produce healthier offspring, thereby reducing pre-weaning mortality;
(ü) investigate the underlying metabolic processes controlling the partitioning of energy between mother/foetus(es) and mother/mammary gland.
Research will focus on increasing the fat content of the sows' diet during late pregnancy. We propose that modification of the lipid composition of the diet will improve neonatal viability and growth without compromising the future reproductive performance of the sow. These responses may be as a consequence of altered maternal energy balance during late pregnancy.

The proposed study is relevant to the MAFF livestock research strategy and also meets the current MAFF policy directives. We aim to improve the economic performance of the pig industry by improving production efficiency whilst still meeting the consumers' requirements for good quality meat as well as their concerns about animal welfare and the environment. In addition, it will enhance our understanding of the underlying metabolic processes that occur during late pregnancy and lactation, and their impact on neonatal health and development.

It is intended that results from these studies will be used to advise the pig industry on nutritional methods to reduce neonatal mortality rates and improve growth performance during this critical period. Information will be conveyed to the pig farmer by articles published in popular farming magazines, leading scientific journals and oral presentations at appropriate conferences.

Project Documents
• Final Report : Maternal nutrition during late pregnancy: Consequences for neonatal health and development   (386k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2003

Cost: £211,595
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - London, T H Huxley School of Environment, Wye Campus
Animal Production              
Livestock Farming              
Fields of Study