Conclusions

Understanding the biology and regulation of mammary growth, development, and lactation is important for developing management schemes to maximize production efficiency and enhance animal health. The ability to promote mammary development has positive implications on milk yield for human consumption and for enhancing growth of suckling meat-producing animals. The ability to lengthen lactation and shorten the dry period can enhance lifetime milk production, with the added advantage that animals will need to produce offspring less frequently and therefore be at reduced risk of parturition-related diseases.

The mammary gland with its postnatal development and cyclical periods of growth, lactation, and involution provides an exciting area for biological investigation.

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