Animals in Research

Elle the sheep

Group: Farm Animals
Species: Sheep
Research Areas: Nutritional research

Meet Elle.  She is a Crossbred sheep who is pregnant with twins. Elle is part of a maternal nutrition study focused on maintaining fetal growth in women that experience maternal constraint, a poorly understood disorder that limits fetal growth during pregnancy. The goal of the study is to determine the stage of pregnancy at which maternal constraint occurs and whether different types of nutrition can restore fetal growth.

Elle is fed a special diet and is assessed twice each day to ensure that she is comfortable and eating and drinking well. A blood sample and weight are collected weekly and the growth of her twins is measured from ultrasound images, as it is in pregnant people.

When the lambs are born they will undergo an exam similar to that of human babies. Blood samples will be collected and they will be weighed to determine the impact of the diet provided.