Gina De Nicolo

Doctor of Philosophy, (Animal Science)
Study Completed: 2008
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Acceleration and out-of-season lamb production in New Zealand

Ms deNicolo investigated lamb production at different times of the year, and included breeding ewes outside the traditional autumn breeding period. The following experiments were conducted: comparing different breeding seasons; finding methods of improving reproductive performance in sheep during the non-breeding season; and attempting to ascertain why poor pregnancy rates are achieved in sheep bred out of season. Two different lambing systems were also compared - a traditional once-yearly system and an accelerated system where individual ewes could lamb every 7.3 months. Results indicated that breeding sheep at all times of the year is possible, although there are advantages and disadvantages. Commercially available methods can improve reproductive performance in sheep bred out of season. The research also indicated that events during early pregnancy may be responsible for poor reproductive performance in sheep bred during the non-breeding season.

Professor Stephen Morris
Professor Patrick Morel
Professor Paul Kenyon