Heifer nutrition during early - and mid-pregnancy alters fetal growth trajectory and birth weight

Micke, G. C., Sullivan, T. M., Soares Magalhaes, R. J., Rolls, P. J., Norman, S. T. and Perry, V. E. A. (2010) Heifer nutrition during early - and mid-pregnancy alters fetal growth trajectory and birth weight. Animal Reproduction Science, 117 1-2: 1-10. doi:10.1016/j.anireprosci.2009.03.010

Author Micke, G. C.
Sullivan, T. M.
Soares Magalhaes, R. J.
Rolls, P. J.
Norman, S. T.
Perry, V. E. A.
Title Heifer nutrition during early - and mid-pregnancy alters fetal growth trajectory and birth weight
Journal name Animal Reproduction Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-4320
Publication date 2010-01-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2009.03.010
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 117
Issue 1-2
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Editor Evans, A. C. O.
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 070201 Animal Breeding
070202 Animal Growth and Development
070203 Animal Management
070204 Animal Nutrition
070206 Animal Reproduction
830301 Beef Cattle
Abstract Maternal nutrient intake during gestation can alter fetal growth. Whilst this has been studied extensively in the sheep, less is known about effects in the bovine. Composite-breed beef heifers were allocated to either a high (H/− = 76 MJ metabolisable energy (ME) and 1.4 kg crude protein (CP)) or low (L/− = 62 MJ ME and 0.4 kg CP daily) nutritional treatment at artificial insemination. Half of each nutritional group changed to an opposite nutritional group at the end of the first trimester (−/H = 82 MJ ME and 1.4 kg CP; −/L = 62 MJ ME and 0.4 kg CP daily), resulting in 4 treatment groups: HH (n = 16); HL (n = 19); LH (n = 17); LL (n = 19). During the third trimester all heifers were fed the same diets. Fetuses were measured at 4-weekly intervals beginning at day 39 of gestation. Calves were also measured at birth for physical body variables. Low maternal nutrient intake was associated with decreased crown-rump length at day 39 (P < 0.01) and increased thoracic diameter at day 95 (P < 0.01). Umbilical cord diameter was reduced in L/− fetuses in the first trimester (P < 0.05) but was greater in −/L fetuses in the second trimester compared to their respective H counterparts (P < 0.05). Calf birth weight was decreased in association with −/L maternal diets (P < 0.05). In conclusion, fetal development of cattle may be affected by maternal nutrition as early as day 39 of gestation. This may be followed by either compensatory fetal growth, or alternatively, preferential fetal tissue growth that is dependant upon maternal nutrition. Clearly, calf birth weight may be altered by maternal nutrition during mid-gestation. Copyright © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keyword Beef heifers
Cattle pregnancy
Fetal biometry
Maternal nutrient restriction
Ultrasound measurement
Postnatal nutrition
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 1 April 2009

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Public Health Publications
School of Veterinary Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 27 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 20 Dec 2009, 10:05:35 EST