Impact of dietary selenium on ovine colostrum and postnatal health

Lead Applicant: Niel Karrow

Research Priority: Animal Health & Welfare Projects

Program Type: Tier 1

Funding Cycle: 2022/2023

Research Centre: Ontario Sheep Research Centre - Ponsby

Research Summary: Approximately 50 per cent of pre-weaning lamb deaths happen between 0 and 10 days after birth. Nutrient deficiency can limit lamb growth and survival. Since colostrum is the source of nutrients and provides passive immunity to recently born lambs, poor colostrum quality and insufficient quantity contribute to sickness and death cause by pathogens (disease-causing microorganisms). This study will characterize the colostrum transcriptome (collection of genes), metabolites, fatty acids and immune-related proteins, as well as the lamb gut microbiome. Results will improve postnatal lamb health and growth, reducing the economic and welfare burden to Canadian sheep producers.