Veterinary Research Communications

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 227–233 | Cite as

Thyroid activity in relation to growth rate and body composition in four breeds of sheep

  • R. Lovell
  • N. Gregory
  • D. Lister
Research Article


Four breeds of sheep, Hampshire, Southdown, Cheviot and Scottish Blackface, which differ in mature body size and body composition were intensively reared under an ad libitum or a restricted feeding regime. Thyroid activity was assessed at 13 weeks of age by the131I uptake method. Slaughter at 24 weeks (ad lib) or 32 weeks (restricted) was followed by carcass dissection. The anticipated differences in body type represented by the 4 breeds was confirmed in terms of size and fatness. The Hampshires had the highest growth rate (liveweight for age) and the lowest thyroid uptake, and the breed differences in thyroid activity were shown to be independent of liveweight. Thyroid activity was positively related to growth rate in the Hampshires and negatively related to growth rate in the 3 other breeds. No association could be found however between the thyroid activity and the proportionate growth of body fat or lean. None of these conclusions were affected by a mild restriction in feed intake.


Growth Rate Body Composition High Growth Rate Feed Intake Body Type 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andreani, D., Menzinger, G., Fallucca, F., Aliberti, G., Tamburrano, G. & Cassano, C. 1970. Insulin levels in thyrotoxicosis and primary myxoedema: response to intravenous glucose and glucagon,Diabetologia, 6, 1–7Google Scholar
  2. Brown, A. J. & Williams, D.R. 1981. MRIMemorandum No. 47, Meat Research Institute, Langford, BristolGoogle Scholar
  3. Cosma, J. 1972. Consequences of nutritional obesity on thyroid tissue,Proc. Sox. Exp. Biol. Med., 143, 792–796Google Scholar
  4. Draper, S.A., Falconer, I.R. & Lamming, G.E. 1968. Thyroid activity and growth rate in rapidly growing lambs,J. Physiol., 197, 659–665Google Scholar
  5. Draper, S.A., Haynes, N.B., Falconer, I.R. & Lamming, G.E. 1969. Thyroid function as measured in131Iodine release rate, weight and RNA/DNA in growing lambs, and its relation to growth rate,Anim. Prod. 11, 399–407Google Scholar
  6. Erenberg, A., Omori, K., Menkes, J.H., Oh, E.W. & Fisher, D.A. 1974. Growth and development of the thyroidectomized ovine fetus,Ped. Res., 8, 783–789Google Scholar
  7. Falconer, I.R. & Draper, S.A. 1968. Thyroid activity and growth, In: G.A. Lodge & G.E. Lamming (eds),Growth and development of mammals, (Butterworth, London), 109–123Google Scholar
  8. Henneman, H.A., Reineke, E.P. & Griffin, S.A. 1955. The thyroid secretion rate of sheep as affected by season, age, breed, pregnancy and lactation,J. Anim. Sci., 14, 419–434Google Scholar
  9. Johansen, K>, Hansen, J.M. & Skovsted, L. 1978. The preferential role of triiodothyronine in the regulation of basal metabolic rate in hyper- and hypothyroidism,Acta Med. Scand., 204, 357–359Google Scholar
  10. Robertson, H.A. & Falconer, I.R. 1961. The estimation of thyroid activity: and evaluation of certain parameters,J. Endocrinol., 21, 411–420Google Scholar
  11. Scow, R.O. 1951. Development of obesity in force fed young thyroidectomized rats,Endocrinology, 49, 522–529Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Geo Abstracts Ltd 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Lovell
    • 1
  • N. Gregory
    • 1
  • D. Lister
    • 1
  1. 1.AFRC Food Research Institute (Bristol)BristolUK

Personalised recommendations