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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