The relationship between serum growth factors and body weight gain was examined in five Dorset lambs. The lambs were weighed and bled by jugular puncture at 2-week intervals between 2 and 18 weeks of age. Somatomedin-like activity (Sm) declined from initially high concentrations at 2 weeks to fairly constant concentrations between 6 and 18 weeks. Relative weight gain--i.e., gain expressed as a percentage of body weight--declined in a manner similar to that of Sm. Mean relative weight gain and mean Sm for the eight 2-week intervals were significantly related (r = .84). Absolute body weight gain--i.e., gain expressed in kilograms--remained fairly constant throughout the study and was not significantly correlated to Sm (r = .15). Serum fibroblast proliferative activity (FPA) was measured as a possible indicator of collective activities of serum growth factors. FPA initially followed a pattern similar to that of Sm, decreasing between 2 and 6 weeks and plateauing until 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, FPA increased to concentrations similar to those observed at 2 weeks. The increase in FPA after 12 weeks was apparently due to an increase in a non-Sm growth factor and had no obvious relationship to body weight changes. Results of the in vitro cell assay system might have been more meaningful if cell type(s) other than WI-38 fibroblasts (e.g., myogenic cells) had been used for estimating collective activities of serum mitogenic factors. The data suggest that serum Sm-like activity may be important in the regulation of growth in sheep.