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Interpretive Summary: Timing of maternal supplementation of dried distillers grains during late gestation influences postnatal growth, immunocompetence,  and carcass characteristics of  Bos indicus-influenced beef calves

By: Elizabeth A. Palmer, Marcelo Vedovatto, Rhaiza A. Oliveira, Juliana Ranches, Joao M.  B. Vendramini, John D. Arthington,  Matthew H. Poore, Thiago Martins, Mario Binelli, and Philipe Moriel

This 2-yr study evaluated the effect of the timing of dried distillers grains (DDG) supplementation during the last trimester of gestation in Bos indicus-influenced beef cows and the subsequent impact on their offspring. Brangus cows were allocated to one of the three prepartum treatments  consisting  of  no  prepartum  supplementation,  2  kg/d  of  DDG  for  the  first  half  of  the  last  trimester  of  gestation,  or  1  kg/d  of  DDG  for  the entire length of the last trimester of gestation. Prepartum supplementation, regardless of supplementation length, improved cow body condition scores at the time of calving. Calf birth weights were not affected by prepartum maternal treatment. Calves born to cows that received prepartum supplementation had greater weaning weight compared with no prepartum supplementation. However, weaning weights were improved to the greatest extent when calves were born to cows that received supplementation for the entire length of late gestation. Steer antibody response to parainfluenza-3 was improved with prepartum maternal supplementation, regardless of supplementation length. Furthermore, concentrating the total amount of supplement offered to the first half of the last trimester of gestation improved marbling and increased the percentage of steers grading choice compared with no prepartum supplementation or supplementation during the entire last trimester.

Read the full article on the Journal of Animal Science.