Colostrum is a nutrient and immunoglobulin rich fluid that is produced by the ewe shortly before parturition. Besides nutrients and immunoglobulins, colostrum also contains a wide variety of components essential to ensure the survival of a new-born lamb, it is critical to lamb survival – insufficient intake of colostrum is a major cause of neonatal fatalities.
Colostrum requires a lot of investment, energy-wise by the ewe, so if she gives birth to multiple offspring, it can be very demanding to keep up with the amount of colostrum required by her lambs. For maximum efficacy, new born lambs must consume the required amount of colostrum (around 1L) within the first 18 hours of life, putting even more pressure on the ewe.
The key point of regulating food intake is to maintain a constant body weight. Food intake (energy input) must therefore balance against factors resulting in a loss of body weight, energy output. Such factors as basal metabolic rate or physical activity (exercise). Because of the simple relationship between energy input and [...]
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