Animal Science and Technology


Maria Peterson

Advisor Department

Animal and Veterinary Science




Cranberry Vine / Maternal programing / Sheep

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.


SHERBIE ST FRANC (Animal Science) The Effects of Cranberry Vine on Ewes and their Offspring Sponsor: Maria Peterson (Fisheries, Animal & Veterinary Science)

In the health field, it is well known that maternal programming can impact the growth and development of the offspring. Understanding the effects of maternal programming is critical as maternal programming because of its impact on livestock and humans alike. Maternal programming can be caused by various factors that a mother is exposed to during pregnancy. For example, stress, disease, nutrition, and uterine capacity can all have a maternal programming effect. In livestock species such as sheep, parasitic infections can impact maternal health both prior to birth and during the lactation period. This is further compounded by the energetic demands and metabolic stress of lactation. Consequently, this can affect the health of the offspring as well. This period of stress can cause parasitic infections to worsen. To address this problem, a collaborator is feeding cranberry vine, a natural antiparasitic treatment fed during pregnancy to ewes during pregnancy and lactation. The goal of this project is to determine if cranberry vine, a natural antiparasitic treatment fed during pregnancy, has any impact on offspring growth and development as well as the health of the ewes during the early postnatal period. Ewes will be fed either a control pellet or a cranberry vine pellet 4 weeks prior to giving birth. Ewe blood at birth will be used to quantify white blood cell counts and characterize the white blood cell population of the ewes. Additionally, measurements of lamb growth will be collected at birth (lamb body weights, height, crown-rump length, and girth). Data will be analyzed using a T-Test. Lambing season is currently in progress and we are actively collecting data. Through this study, I will ultimately gain training and knowledge crucial to my future career as a veterinarian.

Available for download on Sunday, November 14, 2055