The competition for nutrients in overnourished and still-growing adolescent sheep negatively impacts gestation length, colostrum supply and lamb birthweight, all of which may affect neonatal morbidity and survival to weaning. Herein perinatal complications and the requirement for supplementary feeding were analysed in relation to gestational-intake, and the degree of premature delivery and prenatal growth-restriction exhibited. Pregnancies were established by embryo transfer and the mean/standard deviation (SD) gestation length and birthweight of the optimally-fed control group (n = 100) was used to define early delivery and reduced birthweight categories (1.5 and 3.0 SDs below the control mean for each aspect). Control lambs were largely delivered at term (94%), and had a normal birthweight (92%), while very preterm (≤139days, 18.5%) and preterm delivery (140-142days, 54.8%), extremely low birthweight (ELBW; females ≤2838g and males ≤3216g, 21.1%) and low birthweight (LBW; females 2839 to ≤4001g and males 3217 to ≤4372g, 32.2%), were common in the overnourished group (n = 270, P
Dr Anja Petrie provided supporting veterinary input in her role as Named Veterinary
Funding acquisition: Jacqueline M. Wallace.