Interpretive Summary: Removing maternal heat stress abatement during gestation modulated postnatal physiology and improved performance of Bos indicus-influenced beef offspring
By: Vinicius S Izquierdo, João V L Silva, Juliana Ranches, Giovanna C M Santos, Jeffery A Carroll, Nicole C Burdick Sanchez, João H J Bittar, João M B Vendramini, Philipe Moriel
In dairy cattle, heat stress during late gestation negatively impacted offspring postnatal growth and immune function. The use of artificial shade is a management strategy that alleviates heat stress in environments with high temperatures and humidity. The effects of maternal access to artificial shade and its impacts on offspring performance have not been reported for Bos indicus influenced-beef cattle and were the main objective of the present study. From 83 d prepartum until 50 d postpartum, heifers had access or not to an artificial shade structure located centrally on their pastures. Overall, removing maternal access to artificial shade increased maternal internal body temperature and respiration rates, and reduced maternal body condition score from calving until the start of the breeding season and calf body weight at birth. However, calves born from heifers with no access to shade were remarkably heavier at the end of the drylot period and had lower plasma indicators of inflammatory response and positive effects to humoral immune response to vaccination.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.