Nutrition, body condition and reproduction in beef cows: fetal and placental development, and estrogens and progesterone in plasma.

Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station, Stillwater 74078.
Journal of Animal Science (Impact Factor: 2.09). 01/1991; 68(12):4267-76.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mature, pregnant Hereford cows (n = 17) were used to determine the effect of nutrition and body energy reserves on fetal development, concentrations of nutrients and estrogens in placental fluids, and on progesterone, estrogens and placental lactogen in maternal plasma. On d 145 of gestation, cows were assigned by breeding date to two groups and fed to achieve either a thin (TH; n = 8) or a moderate (M; n = 9) body condition score (BCS) by d 195 of gestation. Body weights, BCS, estrogens, placental lactogen and progesterone in plasma were determined weekly between d 200 and 256 of gestation. Cows were slaughtered on d 259 +/- 1 of gestation, and amnionic and allantoic fluids were sampled and analyzed for concentrations of protein, fructose and estrogens. Body weights and BCS were less (P less than .01) for TH (419 kg; 3.7) than for M (511 kg; 5.7) cows at slaughter. Uterine weights were less (P less than .07), but chorioallantoic weights were greater (P less than .07) in TH than in M cows. Cotyledonary weights were greater (P less than .05) for TH than for M cows, and total fructose in amnionic fluid was reduced (P less than .01) in TH compared with M cows. Concentrations of estradiol, estrone and placental lactogen were greater between d 240 and 256 of gestation for TH than for M cows. We conclude that nutrient intake and(or) BCS of beef cows during late gestation influence placental weight, fructose in amnionic fluid, and placental lactogen, estrone and estradiol in plasma.

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    ABSTRACT: The influences of nutritional protein during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy on placental hormones and fetal growth were determined in composite beef heifers. At artificial insemination, heifers were stratified by weight within each composite genotype into 4 treatment groups: High High (HH=1.4kg crude protein (CP)/day for first and second trimesters of gestation; n=16), High Low (HL=1.4kg CP/day for first trimester and 0.4kg CP/day for second trimester; n=19), Low High (LH=0.4kg CP/day for first trimester and 1.4kg CP/day for second trimester; n=17) or Low Low (LL=0.4kg CP/day for first and second trimesters; n=19). Maternal plasma bovine pregnancy associated glycoprotein (bPAG) and progesterone (P4) were determined at gestation day (gd) 28, 82, 179 and 271 (mean gestation length 286 days) in addition to P4 at term. Estrone sulphate (ES) and bovine placental lactogen (bPL) concentrations were measured at gd 124, 179, 236 and 271 and at term in addition to ES at gd 82. Low dietary protein increased placental function as indicated by increased bPAG (P<0.001) and ES (P=0.02) concentrations in first trimester and increased bPL concentrations (P=0.01) in the second trimester of gestation. In the third trimester, when dietary treatment had ceased, placental function was no longer associated with previous dietary treatments. Dam genotype affected placental function as measured by bPL (P<0.001) and ES concentrations (P=0.02). Calf gender, heifer age and maternal insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, -II and leptin did not affect hormonal indicators or circulating markers of placental function. Enhanced placental function during the third trimester, as measured by ES, was associated with increased calf birth weight (P=0.003).
    Placenta 03/2009; 30(4):348-54. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The influence of nutrition during the first and second trimesters of gestation on the occurrence of dystocia was investigated in 3-year-old composite-breed beef heifers. Heifers were allocated according to stratification by weight and genotype 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 on the day of artificial insemination (day 0) to the same Senepol bull. Half of each nutritional group changed to an opposite nutritional group on day 93 of gestation (-/H=82 MJ ME and 1.4 kg CP; -/L=63 MJ ME and 0.4 kg CP daily), resulting in four treatment groups: HH (n=16); HL (n=19); LH (n=17); LL (n=19). From 180 days until calving all heifers were fed the same diets. Pelvic area measures were taken at heifer selection (-72 days) and at 117 days. Maternal circulating concentrations of estrone sulphate (ES), bovine placental lactogen (bPL), bovine pregnancy associated glycoprotein and progesterone were monitored throughout gestation. Heifers were observed continuously over the calving period and delivery type classified as being either eutocic or dystocic. The occurrence of dystocia was 14.1%. Increased calf birth weight increased the odds of occurrence of dystocia (odds ratio (OR)=1.40; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.12-1.76; P<0.01). High diets in the second trimester were associated with heavier calves at birth (P=0.01). The mean pelvic area of eutocic heifers on -72 d, tended to be greater compared to that of dystocic heifers (P=0.08) such that a 1-cm(2) difference in pelvic area tended to decrease the risk of dystocia (OR=0.97; 95% CI 0.93-1.01; P=0.09). Longer gestation length was associated with an increased risk of dystocia (P=0.03). ES (P=0.04) and bPL (P=0.09) at calving were positively associated with the risk of dystocia. In conclusion, the current study demonstrates (a) that pelvic area measurement at selection in 3-year-old Bos indicusxBos taurus heifers may be useful for identifying heifers at an increased risk of dystocia and (b) increased ES and bPL concentrations at calving are associated with increased risk of dystocia. Pelvic area measurements obtained prior to conception remain valid in their assessment of the relationship between pelvic area and likelihood of dystocia occurring in the event of changing maternal nutrient intake during gestation. This is an important finding given maternal diets high in protein and energy during the second trimester of gestation increased calf birth weight and calf birth weight was associated with an increase in the occurrence of dystocia in heifers calving as 3-year olds.
    Animal reproduction science 08/2009; 118(2-4):163-70. · 1.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of nutrition during foetal and lactation periods on calf growth and body composition, and their association with changes in metabolic and endocrine profiles during the calf first year of life on purebred (Hereford and Angus) and cross-bred (F1) dam offspring. Forty cross-bred calves and their dams (purebred - PU: Hereford and Angus, and cross-bred - CR: F1) were used in a randomized block design with a factorial arrangement of herbage allowance of native pastures (high: Hi-HA and low: Lo-HA), 4 vs. 2.5 kg dry matter/kg body weight (BW) and dam genotype (PU vs. CR). Calf BW and blood samples were collected monthly from birth to 380 ± 15 days of age, and body composition was estimated by the urea dilution technique at weaning (142 ± 15 days) and 380 days. Calf birthweight did not differ among groups but from birth to 380 days, and BW was reduced (p = 0.046) in Lo-PU offspring. Although Lo-CR calves achieved similar BW than Hi-PU and Hi-CR offspring, they showed an increased fat in detriment of lean tissue deposition. At birth, plasma total protein was less (p = 0.04), while plasma glucose, insulin or IGF-I tended or were greater (p < 0.072) in Hi-HA than Lo-HA calves. Greater (p < 0.03) plasma total protein and/or glucose concentrations during the first months of lactation were observed in CR offspring associated with the greater dam milk production. Although glucose concentrations did not differ among calf groups after weaning, plasma insulin was greater (p = 0.004) in Hi-PU than other groups at 380 days. Consistent with the reduced BW, Lo-PU offspring presented the lowest (p = 0.026) plasma IGF-I from birth to 380 days. Herbage allowance of native grasslands during calf foetal and lactation periods interacted with maternal heterosis to affect, in the short and/or long term, calf BW or body composition, and metabolic and endocrine profiles.
    J Anim Physiol a Anim Nutr 06/2012; · 1.25 Impact Factor

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