Maternal behaviour in Merino ewes & neuroendocrine parameters
Determine relationships between maternal behaviour and neuroendocrine parameters in the Merino.
Poor lamb survival in the Merino is well recognised by the sheep industry in Australia and despite considerable research over several decades more than 20% of lambs born succumb within a few days of birth. Inappropriate maternal behaviour is responsible for some of this loss.
This honours project will examine how neuroendocrine mechanisms modulate behaviour and provide clues on why the Merino is deficient in providing adequate care at parturition.
Key methodology: Endocrine measurements will be taken on Merino ewes prior to and during parturition and related to measurements on maternal behaviour.